Allonzo Trier authored one of the summer's most devastating performances at the Peach Jam this past July, scoring 42 points in a single contest while matched against fellow blue-chipper Isaiah Briscoe.
But Trier's story extends back several years, and the Seattle native has experienced his share of ups and downs along the way.
Trier has bounced around far more than typically is the case for a teenager. He not only has attended multiple high schools — and been home schooled — he has traveled coast to coast and set up shop in the Midwest as well. His AAU team was the Oklahoma-based Athletes First program, and as a senior he will compete at Findlay Prep outside Las Vegas.
In the process he has battled eligibility and academic transcript hurdles, and yet none of those things impacted his ability to play or impress coaches and scouts.
Trier shot a commercial with Carmelo Anthony back in sixth grade and thus obviously has not lacked for publicity. Despite that, however, he never has been content with celebrity; he continues to improve and produce at a nationally impressive level.
His matriculation to Arizona will keep him under the bright lights, and to this point he has handled the sometimes sharp winds in the road with grace under pressure.
Trier is a pure scorer. He averaged a fantastic 20 points per game on the EYBL circuit, then stepped that up to a monumental 31 points per game in five games at the Peach Jam. He became a marquee attraction to local fans, who stood in awe of his ability to pour in buckets.
His game is based less on explosive athleticism and more on cunning and craft. Trier is a tremendous long-range shooter with range that extends legitimately to 24 feet. He has a quick release and — like O.J. Mayo several years ago — possesses exquisite concentration for burying contested shots.
It's not like people were unaware of him, either. Defenders tried to crowd him and coaches dialed up help defense, but Trier effortlessly navigated the wrinkles and continued to deliver.
|Trier is dangerous from nearly every spot on the court|
He's able to continually free himself for long-range shots because he's also an exceptional driver. His critical talent on the move is world class body control: Trier changes speed without notice and can pull up for a short jumper at any range. He eludes shotblockers because he can twist around them, and he lofts in short bankers like a seasoned pro.
He also creates contact to the extreme frustration of his opponents. Trier drew fouls on the EYBL circuit like Dwyane Wade in his heyday. He shot 243 free throws in 20 games, and when he gets there he makes you pay, sporting an 86 percent average. A great deal of his production therefore is boiled into his freebies and should continue to serve him very well in the Pac-12.
In his 42-point outing at the Peach Jam, Trier actually shot only 10-30 from the field. That kind of errant shooting normally would doom a player to a horrible game — and clearly, he can do better — but he shot 17-20 on free throws while being draped by pressure. That's the core of his efficiency, and his overall 46 percent from the field in the spring and summer was fine for such a prolific guard.
Trier also is a sure ballhandler capable of dribbling versus pressure. He possesses a full toolkit of moves and shakes opponents with crossovers, stepbacks and hesitation dribbles. He's a gifted passer, too, despite lacking in assists (Athletes First didn't boast top to bottom talent) and chipped in with four rebounds per contest as well.
He remains thin but isn't frail or soft, and over time he should develop into a capable defender. Clearly, however, offense always projects as the hallmark of his game.
Chances are, Trier's athleticism will be fine for college. The long-term question he faces is whether his short stride and average first step will hamper him versus the world's elite hoopsters. He's also just average in terms of length.
He has a tendency for force the action and committed more than four turnovers per game with Athletes First. Meanwhile, his shot selection can by messy and thus he's subject to some rough outings in terms of efficiency. He'll need to get to the line frequently to smooth the rough edges; will he be able to do that versus quicker, longer opponents?
Trier needs to gain strength, but a lack of muscle shouldn't prevent him from making an immediate impact at Arizona. He'll be joining a program loaded with talent, of course, but the Wildcats likely will suffer significant NBA attrition following this season and feature a very different look in 2015-16.
For as long as he's in college, Trier could reside as one of the nation's most productive scorers. He also projects as a long-term NBA performer, who simply needs to tighten up sloppy decisions as well as compensate for a mild quickness disadvantage at that level.
One day, he might even get to shoot commercials of his own. Until then, don't expect the production to trail off anytime soon.