Now that UNC has cut down the nets on this season, USA TODAY Sports’ Scott Gleeson looks at which teams and players are poised to make a run at the championship in 2017-18.
USA TODAY Sports
Allonzo Trier, Arizona’s leading scorer last season, will return for the 2017-18 season instead of declaring for the NBA Draft.
Neither UA nor Trier has made an official statement but Trier’s mother, Marcie, told the Star via text message that her son never left and is “all in” for next season.
“He is committed to bringing home a national championship,” she said. “He loves his teammates and his fans.”
Trier also replied to a tweet suggesting he can be “NPOY” (national player of the year) next season by saying “on it.”
Trier led UA in scoring with 17.2 points after being suspended for the first 19 games of the season over a positive PED test.
Trier’s return and the irrevocable NBA departures of Lauri Markkanen and Kobi Simmons give the Wildcats some certainty heading into the spring signing period, though freshman wing Rawle Alkins and sophomore center Chance Comanche are testing the draft without signing with an agent. They will have until May 24 to return to school if they want to.
Both Trier and Alkins are projected as second-round NBA picks in 2018 by Draft Express. Trier’s projection at No. 35 is just five spots below the first round, where contracts are guaranteed for two years.
How this affects the roster
Trier’s decision makes it less likely the Wildcats will sign five-star Michigan wing Brian Bowen, though Arizona still has at least one scholarship opening for next season. The Wildcats are also pursuing, among others, five-star Delaware point guard Trevon Duval, Pitt grad transfer forward Cameron Johnson and Rice transfer guard Marcus Evans.