Replacing Tyler Bey was not going to be easy. Yet in a few short days, Colorado basketball coach Tad Boyle and his staff have filled that void on the fly while setting up the Buffaloes of a possible run at the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
On Thursday, the Buffs received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-7 forward Jeriah Horne, a graduate transfer from Tulsa. Horne’s announcement arrived two days after the Buffs received a commitment from 6-foot-8 forward Jabari Walker, a four-star 2020 freshman out of Chandler, Ariz.
As a graduate transfer, Horne is eligible immediately to help the Buffs reload following a 21-11 campaign in 2019-20. Horne spent the past two seasons at Tulsa, averaging 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds this past season while shooting .413 overall and .339 on 3-pointers. Horne posted a solid .860 mark at the free throw line, though he averaged fewer than two attempts per game (49-for-57), and he recorded more assists (43) than turnovers (40).
In the 2018-19 season, Horne averaged 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds for Tulsa, shooting .439 from the floor. He becomes the first graduate transfer welcomed into the CU program during Boyle’s 10-year tenure, yet given the Buffs’ void in the frontcourt with the loss of Bey to the NBA draft and the graduation of Lucas Siewert, the addition of Horne and Walker addresses the most immediate needs of a team that expects to remain competitive in the Pac-12 Conference next season.
Horne, a native of Overland Park, Kan., who turned 22 on Thursday, was recruited by Buffs out of high school, and he played on the same AAU team (Kansas City Run GMC) that produced former Buffs Tory Miller-Stewart and Dominique Collier, as well as current CU player D’Shawn Schwartz. Horne spent his freshman season at Nebraska, averaging 4.3 points in 29 games, and while he was there he forged a friendship with CU point guard McKinley Wright IV when he was being recruited by the Cornhuskers.
The addition of Horne and Walker fills two of the three scholarships that opened up this spring for the Buffs following Bey’s decision and the decisions by Jakub Dombek and Daylen Kountz to transfer out of CU. The Buffs still are expecting another commitment for that third open spot ahead of the beginning of the spring signing period on Wednesday.
One year after returning a whopping 94.9 percent of their scoring production and 96.2 of their rebounding production, the 2020-21 Buffs are shaping up to be a team featuring a vastly different complexion surrounding returning starters Evan Battey, Schwartz, and Wright, who is testing his NBA draft status but is expected to return to CU for his senior season.
Walker, ranked as a four-star recruit by 247Sports.com, joins a freshman class that already includes in-state recruits Dominique Clifford and Luke O’Brien in addition to freshman guard Keeshawn Barthelemy, who redshirted this past season.