PULLMAN — First-year Washington State basketball coach Kyle Smith has moved swiftly to fill the scholarship vacated by ex-Cougar point guard Ahmed Ali.
Thursday, former Montana and Seattle Pacific forward Tony Miller announced he’d be transferring to WSU this fall — a move that effectively finalizes Smith’s 2019-20 Cougar roster. The ex-Woodinville High standout and former KingCo 4A Player of the Year redshirted in Missoula last season after transferring to the Griz, so he joins WSU as a redshirt junior and should have two years of eligibility remaining.
By virtue of sitting out in 2018-19, the 6-foot-6 Miller should be eligible to play immediately for the Cougars this season.
Another scholarship opened for Smith within the last month when Ali, a former Ernie Kent recruit, finally opted to leave the program after flirting with an exit earlier in the summer. Ali wasn’t expected to start for the Cougars this season and transferred to the University of Hawaii last week.
Though Miller never played at Montana, he has two seasons of collegiate experience, starring for the NCAA Division II Falcons in 2016-17 and 2017-18. In his first year, Miller was tabbed the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year after scoring 19 points per game and hauling down 9.7 rebounds per game. Both digits ranked top-five in the GNAC.
Miller scored 514 points as a freshman — the second-most ever by a SPU freshman — and his 247 rebounds ranked third. He followed with 18 ppg as a sophomore, but missed 12 games with a season-ending shoulder injury.
The Cougars have plenty of bodies in the frontcourt and Miller will be competing for floor time with the likes of Jeff Pollard, Deion James, CJ Elleby, Daron Henson, Jaz Kunc and DJ Rodman.