For now, Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle just wants injured senior Tory Miller-Stewart to rest and focus on his academics.
Any decision regarding Miller-Stewart’s future with the Buffaloes program won’t be figured out until after the semester’s final exams.
Miller-Stewart, who suffered a season-ending broken foot at practice last week, returned to the sidelines during the Buffaloes’ workout Tuesday morning but declined to discuss his situation. Having played in only six of the Buffs’ regular season games he still can apply for a fifth season of eligibility. Yet for the time being Boyle would prefer to have Miller-Stewart’s voice on the sideline as a sort of extra coach than have his senior stressing about his long-term future.
“He was on the sideline today, talking to our post guys. Tory certainly is a guy who can certainly help us from a leadership standpoint,” Boyle said. “He probably won’t be traveling with us but at home, at practice, he can definitely help. Hopefully he stays engaged because those guys need to hear his voice.”
Boyle signed two guards for the 2018 freshman class — Texan Elijah Parquet and Denver East star Daylen Kountz — and still has an open scholarship for next season. Boyle previously stated he likely would hold on to that scholarship until the spring, when transfers and late recruiting de-commits hit the open market, and that he also would target a big man with the open slot.
Miller-Stewart obviously could fill that role, adding experience to a frontcourt that also next year will include 6-foot-8 Evan Battey, who is redshirting this year. But Miller-Stewart also could consider other options, such as pursuing a professional career overseas or moving to another collegiate program as a graduate transfer.
“Big-picture conversations with Tory are probably going to come after finals,” Boyle said. “What I want him to do is he’s had surgery now, let’s get your rehab going, let’s get through finals. For all these guys, it’s crunch-time for them. I don’t want Tory’s mind thinking about the future when it needs to be thinking about the present. Mid-December, when those finals are over, that’s when we’ll have a chance to sit down and really talk and have some heart-to-heart discussions.
“I’m open to a lot of things. I’m open to what’s best for Tory Miller and what’s best for this basketball program. If those are two in the same, then he’ll be back. But I’m not even going to go there yet. Those are going to be private conversations that Tory and I have. My main concern is for Tory Miller and his full recovery and what’s best for him going forward. My close secondary is what’s best for this program. We’re in this business to help young men and help kids. I want to do whatever I can do to help Tory get through this very emotional injury and do what’s best for him next year. All options will be on the table.”