How do you get an elite recruit to commit after only one official visit?
That was the question Sean Miller and his staff pondered over the spring and summer evaluation periods. And with 2015 scoring phenom Allonzo Trier committing to the Wildcats on Sunday, Miller clearly found the answer.
When Arizona offered Trier on June 6th, with Tyler Dorsey already committed, it was clear that Trier was the top priority at shooting guard for the 2015 class.
A week later, Miller had the luxury of coaching Trier on the U18 Team and immediately fell in love with his scoring ability. It was then that Miller hand picked Trier to become an Arizona Wildcat. Getting to see Trier compete versus the best players in his class was an advantage only USA basketball could offer.
Miller has been adamant that USA Basketball is not a recruiting tool, and that’s the truth. However, when you’re coaching a player you naturally build a relationship with them. And we all know that recruiting is all about relationships.
Zona loved Zo and Zo loved Zona. But getting him to commit was the next challenge. Schools often schedule the last official visit in a recruitment to play the role of closer. But in the case of Trier, Arizona wanted to close before Trier ever made an official visit.
In July, Arizona was relentless in their pursuit of Trier. During the first evaluation week in July, Trier decided to stay with his AAU team in Oklahoma to practice for Peach Jam. He was scheduled to be at the Lebron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas that week. So Miller flew from Las Vegas to Oklahoma to watch Trier that weekend. Arizona assistant coach Joe Pasternack was already in Oklahoma and watched Trier the day before and would watch him again with Miller. Meanwhile, Ray Smith was in Chicago with a torn acl and would pledge to the Wildcats that same weekend.
A lot was going on but no one was showing more attention to Trier than Arizona.
The following week Arizona would bring three coaches including Book Richardson to Peach Jam to watch Trier and a number of other Wildcat recruits. Arizona watched Trier the entire tournament, and it was becoming clear that Trier to Arizona was a mere formality. Here is the PGU interview with Allonzo Trier from Peach Jam.
Publicly, Trier wasn’t letting anyone know that he had a secret visit to Arizona planned during the first weekend in August. He didn’t even let other schools know because it was likely going to be a commitment visit. Something that no other school thought possible after only one visit since that’s not the norm for elite recruits. But Zona loved Zo, and Zo loved Zona. A relationship was built between Trier and the staff before he ever came to Tucson and that’s why his visit was more of a victory parade.
With the commitment of Trier, Arizona now has the #1 recruiting class in 2015. Trier will attend Findlay Prep for his senior season and will also be in attendance for the Red/Blue game in October.