No. 18 Arizona hopes Trier will be available vs. UConn

If it’s not one thing, it’s another for Arizona it seems this season.

Less than two weeks after Rawle Alkins made his return to the floor after missing the first nine games of the season with a broken foot, the Wildcats had to watch leading scorer Allonzo Trier writhing in pain in an 83-53 win over North Dakota State on Monday night.

The play came with about 10 minutes to go in the game as Trier was looking to stick with North Dakota State guard Paul Miller when the two collided. The Arizona guard quickly hit the ground and grabbed his knee, bringing silence to McKale Center. Eventually, Trier was helped off the floor, and he returned a short time later with an ice bag on the injured knee.

Arizona head coach Sean Miller classified the injury as a bone bruise and Trier remains day-to-day because of it, but indications are that he will be able to play in Thursday night’s meeting with Connecticut.

“It’s scary for a player when that happens, it doesn’t feel right,” Miller said of the play that injured his standout junior.

Trier had been playing well up until that point, and he even finished the win with a team-high four assists to go with no turnovers and 15 points in 21 minutes of action.

The injury came on a night when the 18th-ranked Wildcats (9-3) were having one of their best all-around performances of the season. Deandre Ayton led the way with 25 points and nine rebounds while Alkins scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds. It was what the team looked like on the other side of the floor that impressed Miller, though.

“We put it together on both ends and we’ve talked a lot about it,” Miller said after the game. “We’re working very hard as a group to improve defensively and tonight I believe we took a step forward.”

It will mark the sixth meeting between UConn (7-3) and Arizona, with the Huskies winning all five of the previous games. The last time the two teams played was back in 2011 in the NCAA Tournament, with UConn winning the game 65-63 and going on to win the national title.

The contest will mark the first for Kevin Ollie’s team in 12 days, and it will also be the first time his team will play a road game this season. Turnovers were the concern for Ollie after a 72-59 win over Coppin State on Dec. 9, and its something he hopes his team can get cleaned up heading into its game at Arizona.

“I see a lot of the turnovers seem to come without a lot of pressure,” Ollie said. “Coppin State was not pressing or overplaying our team and we still had 15 turnovers. I want our team to have poise, and we are going to keep working at it.”

The Huskies are led by junior guard Jalen Adams, who is averaging 19.2 points and is coming off a 15-point performance against Coppin State. Redshirt junior Terry Larrier is coming off a torn ACL last season, but he leads the team in rebounding (5.7) and is second in scoring with an average of 15.6 points.