Late-Thursday afternoon Arizona star guard Allonzo Trier was ruled ineligible by the NCAA as a miniscule amount of the banned substance Ostarine once again appeared in a test. His attorney believes that since the substance hadn’t appeared since early-2017, it was the result of Trier taking the test when not properly hydrated. Either way, let’s break the implications of this down for Wildcats fans:
-First of all, this is complete BS. But welcome to the world of the NCAA and its rampant corruption / unfairness.
-Arizona has lodged an appeal and is challenging the ruling. Based on the usual slowness of the NCAA’s actions, it’s not looking good for Trier to return anytime soon. In fact it’s quite possible that last Thursday night’s win in Tempe might have been Allonzo’s final game in a Wildcats’ uniform. (But if this all gets sorted out on Friday as Sean Miller suggested on Thursday night, ignore the next few bullet points).
-“Ostarine can be stored in fatty tissues for a long time, and tests can be negative but then later be positive as the substance comes out. The medical evidence also shows that the reappearance of a trace amount in his system now creates absolutely zero competitive advantage.”
NCAA is wrong here. Trier won his appeal, yet the NCAA still mistreated him. He’s been tested relentlessly, and this is a trace amount equivalent to two grains of dirt on three football fields. Ridiculous. https://t.co/XUXZsdJWZf
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) February 23, 2018
-The Wildcats will not be making a run to the Final Four if Trier isn’t around. He’s clearly Arizona’s second best player / scorer and outside of Parker Jackson-Cartwright, he’s the only player Sean Miller trusts to bring the ball up the floor.
-Miller is absolutely going to have to start playing his bench – Dylan Smith and Brandon Randolph will benefit the most in terms of playing time…but neither can replace Trier’s scoring prowess. (And yet Emmanuel Akot played 24 minutes on Thursday night…what do I know!?)
-So what’s the ceiling for the Wildcats now if Trier doesn’t return? Sure they’re likely to win the Pac-12 regular season title but will I be picking them to win the conference tournament and three games in three days in Vegas? Not likely…
-Time to re-do my Bracketology column from Wednesday – look for another one early next week. Arizona isn’t getting a #3 seed without Trier.
-Hey Wildcats fans, at the rate we’re going…do you think Sean Miller is long for Arizona? Or should I say do you think Arizona is long for Sean Miller? One way or another I don’t have a good feeling. These NCAA allegations of paying players will take down A LOT of coaches and schools.
-And for those who think Lorenzo Romar is a lock to be the next UA coach IF Miller leaves…remember that he very well might be implicated in the same scandal courtesy of his time at Washington. You think that Markelle Fultz went there for free? And Michael Porter, Jr., the top recruit in the 2017 class who was committed there before Romar was fired last Spring, also wasn’t on the take? I don’t know anything…I’m just speculating…
-Don’t get mad at me Arizona Basketball fans over my opinion that Sean Miller’s time at Arizona may be limited? The future either way isn’t too rosy…
-After Thursday night’s blown lead / OT win, Arizona is now 9-0 in games they led by 10 points then blew the lead later in that game. Incredible stat…but keep that in mind come NCAA Tournament time.
-Nice to see you hit shots in clutch time, Rawle Alkins!
-Poor Dave Heeke – you take over as AD at a big school, Arizona, and are left an absolute mess to clean up. Rich Rodriguez and Greg Byrne apparently let the athletes and coaches run a muck. If you wonder what I’m referring to now, it’s this disgusting story.
-And if that wasn’t enough UofA news, backup QB Brandon Dawkins has decided to transfer from the football team. I appreciated his contributions during the 2016 season but it was time to go with the emergence of Khalil Tate and the deterioration of Dawkins’ ability to read a Pac-12 defense.
-In other news, I don’t care too much about the Olympics…but I do really enjoy Olympic hockey. While I’m thrilled that the U.S. Women’s Team defeated Canada to win the gold medal, I’m somewhat disappointed that it happened in the flukiest of all circumstances, a shootout. I’m good with those in regular season hockey games but there is no need for them whatsoever in the Olympics. Consider it like NHL playoff hockey…keep playing until someone breaks the deadlock. By the way, the men’s team was also eliminated from the tournament the day before…in a shootout.
-Austin Dillon at 54-1 last week…you’re welcome to those of you who might’ve followed my advice in the Daytona 500!
-This week’s picks of who will make the finals in what I consider the six most popular sports (new teams from last week in CAPS):
NBA: Golden State vs. Cleveland
College Basketball: Villanova vs. Michigan State
NHL: Boston vs. NASHVILLE
MLB: Houston vs. Chicago Cubs
NFL (2019): Pittsburgh vs. New Orleans
College Football (2019): Alabama vs. Michigan