Allonzo Trier scored 23 points in Saturday's win over Oregon and he was quick to credit his teammates for his performance.
“It's a great feeling,” Trier said. “I mean, I don't think we had the picture painted like this. Everything looked so down, but I am just extremely proud to be a part of this team.
“Extremely happy to be able to play basketball again and do something I really loved that was taken away from me for quite an extended period of time.
“This is just a great feeling. I appreciate every time I take the court. I don't take the game for granted at all.”
The Ducks made a late run and made the game more interesting than Arizona wanted, but the Wildcats had the answers.
“We never expected it to be easy when we walked in here tonight,” Trier said. “Oregon's a really good team, and they weren't going to lay down and just let us walk away with a win, so credit them for making a surge and really trying to challenge us and make a run to try to win the game.
“We showed that we were together and we were tough, and we did what was needed. Even though we missed a few free throws, we did some things like get big rebounds. So we were really together tonight.”
During that Oregon run, Arizona missed five free-throws in a row. Trier stepped to the line and made both to extend Arizona’s lead and clinch the MVP.
“Allonzo and I have talked about a lot of things,” Sean Miller said. “The 19-game stretch, the span of time went on forever. It was a very unique situation.
“I think a big reason our team was successful is he stayed very engaged during the absence of being able to play. Lauri will tell you. He practiced hard every day as if he was getting ready for the next game and he stayed the course. He hung in there, and so did his family.
“It's like a dream come true. How we envisioned it going for him, I couldn't think of a more appropriate ending than watching him walk away with the MVP.”