What was shocking is that Arizona, a No. 4-seed after its dominant Pac-12 double-title showing, got sandblasted by Buffalo 89-68 on Thursday.
What is not shocking, is that two of the players that helped Arizona reach those conference championship heights, will not be back in Tucson next season.
Pac-12 Player of the Year Deandre Ayton and shooting guard Allonzo Trier, the team’s second-leading scorer, both said after the Buffalo game that they are declaring for the NBA Draft.
Per ESPN’s Edward Aschoff, Trier said this following the shocking bracket-busting loss to Buffalo:
“I’m not worried about [jumping to the NBA] right now, but I’m closing the book on this chapter and looking forward to the next one in my life. It’s a pleasure to be coached by [Sean Miller] and be a part of him and this program for three years.”
Ayton, who averaged 20.1 ppg and 11.6 rpg, per game, told Aschoff he made the decision to go pro with his family during his senior year of high school.
“Going down like this hurt. We really wanted to make history for the Wildcats and their fans and unfortunately we didn’t.”
The 7-foot-1 Bahamian is long-thought to be the No. 1 overall player taken in the draft in June. Trier is thought to be a second-round pick, but his shooting and explosive scoring ability could vault him into round 1 should he have excellent workouts with teams with late first-round picks.
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