Arizona guard Allonzo Trier returning for sophomore season

Allonzo Trier followed the talented footsteps of freshmen Aaron Gordon and Stanley Johnson into Arizona's McKale Center.

He won't be following them to the NBA just yet.

Arizona announced Monday that Trier is returning for his sophomore season, setting up the Wildcats for one of the nation's top backcourts next season.

''I am ecstatic about Allonzo's decision to return to school for his sophomore year,'' Arizona coach Sean Miller said in a statement. ''I believe he will become one of college basketball's elite players next season.''

Like Gordon and Johnson before him, Trier arrived in the desert loaded with accolades after playing at high school powerhouse Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.

The talented 6-foot-6 guard from Seattle lived up to the billing with a knack for scoring in bunches and ability to finish at the rim.

Trier was Arizona's third-leading scorer with 14.8 points on 46 percent shooting despite missing seven Pac-12 games with a broken right hand. The Wildcats finished 25-9, but lost to Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Trier was projected as a late first-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but opted to stay in school to become a more well-rounded player.

''I am really excited about the quest to become a more complete player,'' Trier said. ''I am also excited to develop as a leader and to lock arms with my teammates while competing for championships. I love being at the University of Arizona and can't wait for next season to begin.''

Arizona lost leaders Kaleb Tarczewski and Gabe York to graduation, so Trier's return was a huge boost.

The Wildcats also will return guards Kadeem Allen and Parker Jackson-Cartwright, center Dusan Ristic and forward Chance Comanche. Elliott Pitts also may be back after missing most of the season due to unspecified reasons.

Trier's return will give Arizona a potentially dynamic backcourt.

Ray Smith was supposed to star alongside Trier last season, but missed the season with a torn ACL. He's expected to be back and healthy.

Arizona also will add five-star guards Kobi Simmons and Rawle Alkins to the mix next season, along with Finnish center Lauri Markkanen.

''Allonzo shared his desire to be a leader on a championship team and to improve his overall game,'' Miller said. ''By doing so, he puts himself in the best position possible for a very successful NBA future. I have not been around a player that works harder at the game or loves it more than he does. It's this passion to be great that has all of us excited about our future together.''

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