When will Arizona basketball fans get to see ever-important sophomore guard Allonzo Trier on the floor?
There's a significant story line developing in Tucson. First, Trier did not show up at Pac-12 media day on Oct. 21. Arizona coach Sean Miller declined any comment on that at the time. Then, during Tuesday night's 86-35 cruise-control exhibition win over the College of Idaho, Trier was not in uniform.
Again, during the postgame press conference, Miller did not give any specifics to Trier's status. Concerns among the fan base about his eligibility are mounting. If able to play, Trier should be Arizona's leading scorer and most important player this season. As a freshman, he averaged 14.8 points and 3.3 rebounds.
Arizona's next exhibition game comes Sunday vs. Cal State Chico.
The next question is: Will Ray Smith be healthy enough to play in that game -- or in the early part of Arizona's schedule? Smith's story has been a frustrating one, as he's suffered ACL injuries over the past two years. A former five-star recruit at small forward, Smith, now a redshirt freshman, finally stepped onto the court in a Wildcats uni for the first time for Tuesday night's exhibition -- only to get take to the floor three times. The first two hiccups seemed to be minor ankle tweaks, but the Arizona Daily Star described the third to be "a significant injury" after a layup attempt midway through the second half.
Smith had to be carried off the floor. Hopefully it's not another devastating injury. He will go through further evaluation from doctors today, per Arizona communications.
Smith hopped on Twitter to provide his perspective on all of this:
Thanks to all the fans but I'm blessed man to even be where I am. One of my lil bros from vegas was murdered in his apartment the other day.— Ray Smith (@raysmith2297) November 2, 2016
The Trier holdup and the Smith scare combined with the indefinite suspension of sophomore forward Chance Comanche, who is not eligible to play for the near future "due to his own lack of academic responsibility," according to a written statement from Miller.
"As a member of our basketball program, you are a student and an athlete, and you are expected to do the best of your ability in both areas," Miller said in his statement. "It is not an option to compete and be held accountable on the court but not in the classroom."
The season starts for Arizona in nine days -- against Michigan State in Hawaii -- and a lot of questions still have to be answered. Miller has a talented team, but as of now, an incomplete one.