In a midseason roundtable published among ESPN.com's "insider" content, three of four ESPN college basketball writers picked Arizona's Allonzo Trier as the "player who has been the biggest disappointment" so far this season.
Andy Katz chose Duke’s polarizing Grayson Allen but ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan, C.L Brown and Myron Medcalf said it was Trier.
“Obviously, it’s not because of what he’s done on the court,” Brown wrote. “With Trier, the Wildcats could contend with UCLA and Oregon for the Pac-12 crown. The problem is he hasn’t played in any of the Wildcats’ 17 games.
“It’s one of the most bizarre suspensions – if you can call it that, since the school has not announced exactly why he’s out – in recent memory.”
Medcalf also questioned UA’s lack of transparency on Trier.
“We’re still not sure why he’s still sitting, and Arizona officials continue to offer vague explanations for his absence,” Medcalf wrote. “It’s disappointing because we’re still not sure why a talented player has yet to play a minute this season.”
Trier's latest posts on Instagram are fodder for more word-parsing, if you still have an appetite for that.
Last week on Instagram he posted a picture of himself drinking water on the bench and said “Thirsty for the game.”
This week, Trier posted photos of himself with the words:
“Starting to feel a little too big for the cage I been trapped in.”
And, “faced with immeasurable odds, still I gave straight bets.”
At his ASU news conference on Tuesday, Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley said his postgame speech last Thursday was not directed at the Wildcats (He told his players that Pac-12 teams would have to visit their travel partner in "bleeping Tucson" in order to get a win).
“If our travel partner was USC, then I would have said to go to L.A. if you want to try and get a win,” Hurley said. “It was my way to motivate my team to try and do a better job of winning league games at home and establishing home court.
“I rarely lost as a player (at Duke) when teams came to Cameron Indoor. My record was very strong at home at Buffalo. I just wanted to get through to the guys how vital it is in league play to win your home games. It's hard to win games on the road.”
UA coach Sean Miller, who said Hurley's remarks are an example of behind-the-scenes activity that is "misunderstood," said coaches try to motivate their teams in different ways, depending on their style and the makeup of their team.
“If you have an experienced team that’s been there, done that, you tend to guide that ship that way,” Miller said. “If you have a group of guys that are inexperienced, or if you’re a team that’s tying to climb the ranks of college basketball, or your conference, there are certain things you want to emphasize.
“I think each coach is different, each program is different, and once in a while even in our program from one year to the next there’s so much change that the things that worked a year ago could be completely different six months later, nine months later.”
No telling what Bill Walton will show up in Thursday to work the UA-ASU game with Dave Pasch.
Francisco Romero, Arizona's Spanish-language broadcaster, is with the Suns on their trip to Mexico City this week.
So... Utah's Larry Krystkowiak sandwiched himself between two boards of nails and had gymnast Mckayla Skinner stand on it.
There's video of the experiment on a reply to the post here. When he got up afterward, Krystkowiak jokingly told the instructor who put together the experiment "you'll be hearing from my attorney."
Colorado's George King, who helped hold Rawle Alkins to just two rebounds last Saturday, has been getting it done on the glass for the Buffs.
Even though David Collette was in foul trouble at UA last week, he's made a big difference for the Utes so far.