Coach Sean Miller and Arizona fans got a majorscare when leading scorer Allonzo Trier went down with a knee issueMonday night. But Miller said Tuesday on his weekly radio show that the juniorguard and All-America candidate could play Thursday night when the 19th-rankedWildcats host UConn.
Trier, who’s averaging 21.7 points, 3.3 assistsand 3.2 rebounds per game, banged knees in a collision with a North DakotaState player five minutes into the second half Monday night and spent the restof the night with an ice bag on his knee after coming back out of the lockerroom.Follow-up tests Tuesday on the slightly-swollen knee revealed a bone bruise butno serious ligament damage, and Miller classified it as a “minor sprain.” “Weexpect him to make a full recovery, and hopefully as we get through (Tuesday)and (Wednesday), he will be able to play against UConn,” Miller added on hisradio show. “… He has almost a full range of motion, which is also a greatsign. If what he has in terms of discomfort can subside, he’ll be able to go. Iknow he wants to. We certainly won’t put him out there unless it’s safe forhim, and also good for both him and our team.”
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
ABOUT UCONN (7-3): The Huskies are coming off a12-day break for final exams, and will visit Arizona and Auburn (Saturday)before Christmas and preparations for their big American Athletic Conferenceopener Dec. 30 at home against No. 11 Wichita State. Thursday’s game, though,marks the first true road contest for UConn, which is 6-0 at home so far and1-3 in neutral-site games. Guard Jalen Adams (19.2 points), swingman TerryLarrier (15.6) and guard Christian Vital (12.8) are all averaging double digitsfor the Huskies while Larrier leads the team in rebounding at 5.7 per outingand Adams is averaging a team-best 3.7 assists.
ABOUT ARIZONA (9-3): Freshman big man DeandreAyton has provided the perfect complement to the high-scoring Trier and isaveraging 20.3 points and 11.8 rebounds on the season. The 7-foot-1, 250-pounder had25 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes Monday against North Dakota State tofinish one rebound short of his 10th double-double of the year. GuardRawle Alkins is averaging 14.7 points and 4.3 rebounds over the last threegames since returning from a broken foot suffered in late September.
1. UConn has won all five games in the series,including a 65-63 victory in their last meeting which came in the 2011 NCAATournament West Regional final in Anaheim, Calif. The Huskies went on to winthe national championship the following weekend.
2. The 83-53 victory over North Dakota State wasthe Wildcats’ 46th straight nonconference home win – the longest such streak inprogram history by five games.
3. Offensive efficiency has been a struggle forthe Huskies, who are shooting 40.7 percent from the field (tied for 318thnationally) and have 134 turnovers and only 100 assists on the season.
PREDICTION: Arizona 81, UConn 66