Photo credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
BOULDER – Replacing Daniel Amigo just got a little bit easier for Rodney Billups and the Denver Pioneers staff. Sources tell and confirm to LetsGoDU that former Colorado Buffaloes big man Tory Miller-Stewart is transferring south down the Front Range.
The graduate transfer from Tad Boyle’s program recorded 488 points and 371 rebounds in Boulder. His 2017-18 season was supposed to be his first as a bonafide starter, coming out from behind the shadow of Josh Scott, Wes Gordon and Xavier Johnson but just six games into the season he broke his foot in practice, which ended his season.
These moves put Denver within striking distance of Mike Daum and South Dakota State for the Summit League’s top spot. The move will be official once Miller-Stewart is officially admitted to the University.
Miller-Stewart has already played for Billups. Billups was on the Buffs staff from 2010-17 and played a large role in the recent success of Colorado Basketball.
The Kansas City native, Miller-Stewart, played for New Hampton Prep before coming to Colorado He was a three-time All-Conference player and an All-state selection his senior year. He also played on AAU Ball for Kansas City Run GMC.
With Amigo now graduated, his 15 points and seven rebounds a night seem to have procured a replacement. Just like the 6-foot-10 Amigo, the 6-foot-9 Miller-Stewart had a field goal percentage in the .530s in his last full season.
Couple Miller-Stewart with newly added transfer 4-Star Ronnie Harrell from Creighton and the Pios have already had a terrific offseason. The only bad news for Billups thus far comes from Minnesota. The St. Cloud Times reported Minnehaha Academy’s Javonni Bickham—a DU commit—had surgery on both knees. Bickham’s Twitter still shows that he is coming to DU but it is doubtful that he will be a major contributor next season. Freshman guard Elijah Blake met a similar fate after signing with Denver last year and was a redshirt this past season.
Add 20-year-old Turkish recruit Alperin Kurnaz and new freshman signee, Texas prepster David Nzekwesi, and there is plenty of front-line depth joining Donoven Carlisle and Jake Krafka on the squad.
Now, the focus shifts to guard where DU will look to add reliable point guard play and scoring beside Joe Rosga. Returning players Ade Murkey and Elvin Rodriguez will battle for playing time with freshmen Taelyr Gatlin, Joseph Lanzi and Jase Townsend. If DU can get consistent back-court play, DU is poised for a record-setting season under Billups.