Allonzo Trier became the eighth-fastest player in Arizona basketball history to hit the 1,000-point plateau Saturday, so coach Sean Miller isn’t about to complain.
It’s just that, well, both Trier and Miller know it might have arrived a little bit faster.
By scoring 23 points in UA’s 84-78 win over ASU on Saturday, Trier became the 51st UA player overall to score 1,000 for his career, but wasn’t on pace to make it initially with a slow start that has occasionally cramped his high-powered output lately.
Trier needed 16 points to tie the mark but had just five in the first half on 1-for-7 shooting. But in the second half, he was 4 of 8 from the field, and 8 for 8 from the free-throw line.
“Couple of tough misses. Let a couple fall short,” Trier said of his start. “They felt good; just didn’t go down. It happens. But it’ll happen over the course of a season. Your routine will help carry you through.”
Trier said his percentages on the season show what he can do, and nobody’s arguing about that. For the season, Trier is averaging 21.3 points, shooting 54.2 percent from the field, 42.5 percent from 3-point range and 83.3 percent from the line.
But in UA’s seven December games, Trier averaged 6.6 points on 44.8 percent shooting in the first half — and 13.0 points on 53.3 percent shooting in the second half.
While Miller says Trier is the type of player to work out issues on his own, he says his staff is always looking to see if they can help him.
“He’s started slow and finished strong,” Miller said. “We need him to start strong and finish strong. And what would that game look like? It would be a monster game.”
Trier had a couple of those early in the season. He scored 22 points on 7-for-9 shooting in the first half of his first game, against NAU on Nov. 10, and finished with 32.
Two days later, he scored 15 points in each half against UMBC and, on Nov. 16, had 14 points in each half against Cal State Bakersfield.
That history is one reason why Trier says he isn’t worried.
“I probably should have been able to make at least four or five that should have gone down that just didn’t go down,” Trier said of the ASU game. “That happens. But I’m confident. I put a lot of work in, all kinds of extra time.”
Trier also doesn’t need to hit jumpers to help Arizona’s scoring, of course. He’s gotten to the free-throw line an average of 7.3 times in UA’s 14 games, and converted 6.1 of them on average.
In addition, while Trier has an overall assist turnover ratio of 1.25-1 this season, he’s posted a 5-1 ratio over his past four games. He dished four assists to no turnovers against both North Dakota State on Dec. 18 and against ASU on Saturday.
Trier had two of those assists during a 12-1 Arizona run late in Saturday’s game, one leading to a jumper by Parker Jackson-Cartwright and another leading to a jumper by DeAndre Ayton.
Not surprisingly, he also had 13 points over the final 12:28 of the game, eight of which came at the free-throw line.
So, eventually, the numbers all add up.
“Sometimes he’ll start slow but as the game keeps going he finds his rhythm,” Miller said. “And it’s great to have the ball in his hands at the end of the game because he can really shoot free throws, drive and shoot from three and he’s become a really good passer.
“Sometimes I find myself saying, ‘Man, he’s come a long way for me to say that,’ but four assists and no turnovers (against ASU) speaks volumes for how he’s finding his teammates and taking care of the ball.”