Quay Miller expecting big production in bigger role for Colorado women’s basketball – The Denver Post


SAN FRANCISCO — Quay Miller just wanted to fit in. But of course, she wanted to contribute as well.

Miller struck that balance to perfection last year for the Colorado women’s basketball team, arriving as a transfer with starting experience at Washington while joining a Buffaloes team with entrenched starters in the frontcourt in Mya Hollingshed and Peanut Tuitele.

Miller was fine with that. She found a way anyway.

One of the biggest boosts injected into a team that eventually landed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nine years was the play of Miller, who thrived in her bench role to land the Pac-12 Conference Sixth Player of the Year honor. With Hollingshed now beginning her pro career and Tuitele spending her extra season at California, Miller spoke on Tuesday during the Pac-12 women’s basketball media day about how she was able to fit in so seamlessly in Boulder — and how she expects to build on that standout season in what should be an expanded role this year.

“I was just trying to do whatever my coach needed me to do,” Miller said. “Whether I was coming off the bench, whether I’d start. I was just trying to do what she needed me to do. And coming off the bench, she asked me to have production, and I knew I was capable of doing that.

BOULDER, CO, Feb. 4, 2022: University ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s Quay Miller goes to the basket on Washington State during a Pac-12 game in Boulder on February 4, 2022.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

“I didn’t even know that was a real accolade. My teammates were like, ‘You’re going to be Sixth Man (of the Year)’ and I just thought they were making fun of me. Honestly, I didn’t know what that is. Once I did get it, it’s nice to have. But obviously, I’m not done here. I appreciate the award, but I want more than just the sixth-man award. I want more for my team. I want to get further than just the first round of the tournament.”

Miller started all 21 games for Washington during the 2020-21 season, averaging 9.9 points and a team-leading 6.0 rebounds per game. She packed that production with her luggage on the journey to Boulder.

Miller came off the bench for all 31 games last season, and despite ranking sixth among the Buffs in average minutes (19.9), she ranked second in both scoring (10.6) and rebounding (5.1) while shooting .504 from the floor. The per-minute production recorded by Miller far outpaced Tuitele (25.1 minutes, 7.4 points, 4.2 rebounds), but head coach JR Payne says she never considered juggling the rotation.

After years of painstakingly building a winner, Payne didn’t want to tinker with success.

“I think she was more comfortable coming off the bench. If you asked her, I think she’d say that was the right thing,” Payne said. “We were winning, so why mess with it? And I’ve also loved having great production off the bench.”

Miller no doubt will have a bigger opportunity this season as the Buffs’ primary option in the front court. Without Hollingshed, who finished her career sixth in all-time scoring at CU, and Tuitele ahead of her, Miller could provide one of the top individual scoring-rebounding dynamics in the Pac-12.

“I think it will just give me more time to do more production,” Miller said. “Not to say coming off the bench did me any harm, but I think being able to start I’ll be able to set the tempo for myself and the team being part of that starting lineup. It’s all about how we approach everything, not dwelling on what we lost and appreciate what we have. I think we’ll possibly be better at being able to adjust quicker, and we’ll have better balance.”


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