Arizona Wildcats fans may not be the only ones in the dark about whether Allonzo Trier will ever play for the Wildcats this season.
UA coach Sean Miller indicated he is, too.
During his weekly teleconference Monday, Miller said he doesn’t know when the case might be resolved and appeared to back away slightly from a Pac-12 Networks report saying he believed Trier will play.
Pac-12 Networks sideline reporter Jill Savage said during UA’s game with Colorado on Saturday that Miller “told me ... that he does believe (Allonzo) Trier will play sometime this season,” but Miller wouldn’t go that far Monday when asked about the report.
“Honestly, I’ve said so many things over the last three or four months, I would just say that I hope that Allonzo has an opportunity to play sometime this year,” Miller said. “I’ll leave it at that. If I knew more, l would say. If I would be able to, I would say.
“But this is far, far higher up the ladder than me. I’m just soldiering the army, following orders.”
Trier has missed all 17 of UA’s games this season with a suspension, but neither the UA nor the NCAA will comment on it. In fact, the Pac-12 Networks’ report came despite the fact that reporters are routinely told at news conferences that no questions about Trier’s status will be addressed.
While Trier hasn’t played publicly since the Red-Blue intrasquad game on Oct. 14, Miller said he’s been active and a helpful participant in other areas.
With “Allonzo, the one thing I can comment on is he practices with us every day,” Miller said. “He’s in school. He’s doing a great job as always. Our practice environment has been really good this year. I’ll knock on wood because I know it can change quickly, but I hope that continues to the finish line because if it does that bodes well.
“This is a team that loves the game. It stems from a lot of players. Allonzo is one of them. (Redshirting guard) Dylan Smith and Allonzo, they practice every time that we practice. Both are quality players and they make that daily grind a lot more efficient, more highly competitive, and when you watch us practice we’re probably a deeper team than we would be in games.”
PJC could start soon
Point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright averaged 26.5 minutes against Utah and Colorado last week, his third and fourth games back from a high ankle sprain, and Miller said he could re-insert him to the starting lineup “soon.”
The UA has been starting freshman Kobi Simmons, who mostly came off the bench before Jackson-Cartwright was hurt on Nov. 30 against Texas Southern.
“I’m more concerned about minutes,” Miller said. “Parker played more minutes against Utah and Colorado than he did against Cal and Stanford. He was more able to play those minutes. He’s not at risk to get injured. But … you want to make sure he’s effective and that you have his best interest. It’s kind of like ramping him up, and being smart with that.”
Jackson-Cartwright said he’s fine playing off the bench if needed, and that he wasn’t quite 100 percent recovered from a process that is typically estimated at 4-8 weeks.
“I wish,” he said. “But that’s just not realistic. The healing process was sped up for sure and it didn’t take the normal time that it takes to heal. With that there’s still some pain, and some stuff that I can do. It’s getting close to 100 percent but I think it’ll take a little bit more time.”
Blowing off Hurley’s heat
While Miller said he doesn’t worry as much about who starts as much as fans might, he pretty much said the same thing about ASU coach Bobby Hurley’s popular postgame video clip from last Thursday.
That’s the one in which Hurley enthusiastically reminded his players after they beat Colorado that if any team wants to visit the state and get a win they’d have to go to “(bleeping) Tucson.”
“Bobby is a great competitor and the challenge as a coach is to get your team motivated, have your team ready to play and to build a program and confidence is part of that,” Miller said. “There’s a lot of different ways to go about that. I don’t think he meant that in a derogatory fashion towards our program or things here in Tucson as much as making sure that his guys believe in themselves.”
“I know how he’s wired — he’s a great competitor and that’s what made him such a terrific player. Things like that happen. In today’s world the behind-the-scenes things can really be misunderstood and I think this is a classic example of that.”
Jackson-Cartwright said all the UA players have seen the clip, which has toured the social media circuit.
“It’s just one of those things you’ve just gotta brush off,” Jackson-Cartwright said. “It doesn’t really affect anything we do basketball-wise. It was just a comment. … We saw it, took notice to it. We’ll be ready to go on Thursday.”
• Arizona moved up one spot to No. 16 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Baylor was the new No. 1, while among Arizona’s opponents this season, UCLA was No. 4, Gonzaga No. 5, Butler was 12th, Oregon 13th and USC No. 25.
• Cal forward Ivan Rabb was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week, after collecting 17 points and 20 rebounds at UCLA, then adding game-winning heroics on Sunday at USC. Arizona had nominated Dusan Ristic, who also lost out to a strong effort elsewhere in the conference a week earlier when Oregon’s Dillon Brooks won the award following his game-winning three against UCLA and other production.