On Feb. 25 the Colorado men's basketball team hosted its annual Senior Day.

Among the honorees was injured forward Tory Miller-Stewart, who, at the time, insisted his participation should not be seen as a statement as to what direction his college basketball career would soon take with a year of eligibility still in his back pocket.

"We call came in in June of 2014 and whether I stay or not, they're going to leave," Miller-Stewart said about classmates Dom Collier and Josh Repine a few days ahead of Senior Day. "I couldn't miss out on that. Even if I wind up having two, I still feel like this one is my real one."

It turns out, that moment indeed will be Miller-Stewart's swan song in a Buffaloes uniform.

On Tuesday, head coach Tad Boyle announced Miller-Stewart is leaving the CU program to pursue an opportunity next season as a graduate transfer. Miller-Stewart's decision brings the open scholarship at Boyle's disposal full circle.

When the Buffs added guards Elijah Parquet and Denver East's Daylen Kountz on signing day in November, Boyle still had an open scholarship he said he planned to use on a big man during the spring recruiting period, when he could land a transfer, a foreign player, or a high school prospect whose recruiting re-opened late — not unlike the situation that brought freshman guard McKinley Wright to Boulder a year ago.


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After Miller-Stewart suffered a season-ending broken foot following just six games, Boyle said that open big-man spot would still belong to the Buffaloes' senior if he wanted to return. Instead, perhaps after witnessing the development of younger big men Lucas Siewert and Dallas Walton through the 2017-18 season, Miller-Stewart could opt for a route where he may enjoy a more prominent role.

It is a course that worked well this season for former teammate Tre'Shaun Fletcher, who won the Mid-American Player of the Year award at Toledo. Unlike Fletcher, who had to sit out last season as an undergraduate transfer, the 6-foot-9 Miller-Stewart will be eligible immediately wherever he lands.

The Buffs also have freshman big man Evan Battey waiting in the wings after a redshirt season, though Battey still is attempting to be cleared medically after suffering a stroke-like medical episode over the holidays that ultimately kept him out of practice the remainder of the season.

Though it was a very limited sample size, Miller-Stewart had posted career-high averages of 6.2 points and 4.7 rebounds early this season before getting injured. He finishes his CU career with 488 points and 371 rebounds. Miller-Stewart posted two double-doubles with the Buffs, recording a career-best 19 points with 10 rebounds in a win against Hampton as a junior and collecting 11 points and a career-best 13 rebounds in a triple-overtime game at USC as a freshman in 2015.

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07