The walk-on contingent for the Colorado men’s basketball team once again is going through an overhaul.
As previously reported by BuffZone, 6-foot-8 walk-on forward Cody Mains is set to return to the program, while CU lost 2021-22 senior walk-ons Benan Ersek and Will Loughlin to graduation. Loughlin, a 6-foot-9 forward, was put on scholarship for the season before the start of the second semester, and he ended up playing nine games off the bench as the Buffs managed injury and other personnel issues down the stretch.
This week, Boyle told BuffZone that walk-on guard Jack Pease, who spent one season in the program, is expected to join Division II Colorado Christian, while former Valor Christian star Amondo Miller is set to return for a second walk-on season with the Buffs.
Pease appeared briefly in two games in mop-up duty at the end of blowouts, scoring his only two points at home against Oregon State on Feb. 5. Not counting Loughlin, Pease’s bucket were the only points scored by a CU walk-on last season. Miller, a 6-foot-6 guard, was intentionally held out of game action in order to preserve the year of eligibility.
To fortify the walk-on roster, the Buffs have added former Monarch High School standout Greg Gerhardt as well as Harrison Carrington, a 6-foot-7 wing out of Menlo Park, Calif.
“Ever since I was a kid I’d come up here and watch games,” Gerhardt said. “When coach (Mike) Rohn called me and said there might be a chance to join the team, it was kind of a no-brainer. It wasn’t a very hard decision to make.”
Gerhardt moved to Superior from Houston prior to high school and made a huge mark with the Coyotes, averaging 9.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game during his senior season in 2020-21. Per Monarch’s MaxPreps.com page, Gerhardt averaged 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds as a junior in 2019-20. In 2021, he was a first team All-Front Range League selection and also was named honorable mention all-region by BoCoPreps.
At 6-foot-10, Gerhardt essentially replaces Loughlin as an extra big man up front. That asset became unexpectedly necessary for the Buffs earlier this year after 7-foot-1 freshman Lawson Lovering was lost to a midseason knee injury. While Lovering was sidelined, 6-foot-9 Tristan da Silva also missed two games while dealing with a bout of COVID.
“Definitely happy to be part of the team, working out every day and getting better,” Gerhardt said. “I’ve only been here for two weeks and I feel like I’ve gotten so much better, just playing against these guys and pushing them and making the team better. I know my role. I’m not thinking I’m going to be a star player or anything. But I’m definitely enjoying it so far.”
CU had four walk-ons last season (including Loughlin) and now has four in the mix for next season with the addition of Gerhardt and Carrington alongside the return of Miller and Mains. Buffs head coach Tad Boyle said there is a chance further walk-on reinforcements might still be added.
“(Carrington’s) dad went to school here, so he’s got some Buff blood in him. He’s a talented kid, also,” Boyle said. “We’re in a really, really good situation with our walk-ons. I don’t know if we’re done there. We’ll see.”