But this season has amplified the buzz surrounding Allonzo Trier's game. The Oklahoma native had received ample exposure thanks to his work with Athletes First on the travel circuit, but it wasn't until he transferred to Rockville (Md.) Montrose Christian this season that his stock began to rise significantly.
In December, Trier served up a dynamite performance at the Tarkanian Classic. Matched against ballyhooed Findlay Prep out of Las Vegas, he scored 27 points in the second half to rally Montrose to a dramatic win. Defended by some of the country's elite athletes, Trier proved he could thrive in the role of leading scorer and clutch shot-maker.
That performance wasn't a fluke. He has played impressively in other contests as well, and this season overall has generated momentum as he eyes another cycle through the various spring and summer events.
Trier projects as a power shooting guard. He already boasts a solid base and strong shoulders, and he utilizes his muscle to create space for jump shots. He has showcased an added wrinkle this season, which is the ability to hit contested shots.
Trier lacks a supremely explosive first step, so he's unlikely to enjoy deference from opponents who prioritize stopping his jump shot. Rather than backing off out of respect for his quickness, they'll likely jam him and force him to fire away over hard closeouts. That said, Findlay and others foreshadowed the defensive style he'll face in college, and he succeeded brilliantly.
His jump shooting mechanics are nearly flawless. He releases a soft ball with a high arch and noticeable backspin. He also sets up jumpers well using stepback and change-of-direction dribbles. Those attempts likely won't make him the most efficient player on the team, but he has demonstrated a penchant this season for drilling what typically constitute low percentage attempts.
One can question whether he'll continue to make those against more experienced players, and that's a valid concern. Trier actually is a fairly good finisher on the move, using a jump stop and clever angles off the glass, but shotblockers may trouble him along with long-armed, quicker wings.
He'll also need to prove he can raise his signal-to-noise ratio. Trier had played lacking competition in home school ball and thus developed a style involving lots of touches and shots, and learning to do more with less will be key aspect of his development. From that standpoint, his season at Montrose appears to have been highly beneficial.
His recruitment continues to percolate. More than 10 schools have offered, including Georgetown, Baylor, Virginia, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Given that he hails from the Midwest but attends school on the East Coast, a diverse array of schools likely will continue to pursue him.