If he wants to keep playing, Colorado men’s basketball walk-on Cody Mains still has two seasons of eligibility at his disposal.
However, Mains got a taste of the real world last summer. And chances are, his time as part of a high-level basketball program is nearing an end.
Though technically a sophomore in terms of eligibility, Mains will be recognized on Saturday as part of the Senior Day festivities as the CU men’s basketball team hosts Utah in the regular season finale (3:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network).
A 6-foot-8 forward out of Fairfax, Va., Mains has been part of the program for two seasons and is on track to graduate this summer. Last year, he took advantage of an internship opportunity at Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of rental car agencies like Enterprise and Alamo. Nothing is official, but Mains is leaning toward pursing non-basketball professional opportunities.
“It’s a great experience. I really loved being here and I’m excited for it,” Mains said. “This will be only my mom’s second time out here, so it’s going to be great to have her out here. Hopefully we’ll beat Utah, and that’s what we’re trying to do.
“I have two years left of eligibility, but I think most likely the outcome is going to be…I had an internship with Enterprise Holdings over the summer, and I really loved that. Out to the real world.”
Mains appeared in two games last season and two this year, but has not recorded a point. Still, on a team thin on frontcourt depth, Mains’ contributions have been critical at practice.
“Saturday is about, to me, three seniors who’ve given a lot to this program,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “Cody Mains is one of our walk-ons who’s a really, really special young man. People don’t hear about him or know about him, but I’ve got a lot of respect for him and the effort he’s put into this program. The sweat equity in practice these walk-ons give is, to me, something special.”
In addition to Mains, the Buffs will honor Jalen Gabbidon and Ethan Wright as part of the Senior Day ceremonies.
Both players are graduate transfers out of the Ivy League who have spent just one season at CU. Both are unlikely to pursue pro careers, with Wright saying he might take time to explore the west and “do all the things I haven’t gotten to do yet” once the school year wraps up. Gabbidon, originally from Harrisburg, Pa., said he has not seen his immediate family since August and plans to go home for a while later this spring.
Boyle watching Boyle
Boyle hustled out of Friday’s practice in order to tune in to his son Pete’s team, Pomona-Pitzer, play in the opening round of the Division III playoffs. Forced to travel from Los Angeles to West Hartford, Conn., Pomona-Pitzer suffered a 78-53 defeat against Williams College. Pete Boyle, a sophomore from Boulder High, finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
Coach Boyle is no stranger to having to watch his sons compete from afar. In 2020 his older son, Jack, hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send Pomona-Pitzer to the Division III Sweet 16. The team was on a plane getting ready to take off a few days later when the remainder of the tournament was canceled at the start of the COVID pandemic.
Tad Boyle is clear he knows this is the life he signed up for as a Division I head coach. Still, being unable to watch his sons in person remains a tough sacrifice.
“It’s the toughest thing of the last four years,” Tad Boyle said. “Not seeing (Jack) play in two NCAA Tournaments. Pete, this is his second one. My wife, she’s been at all of them, but I haven’t. It’s tough, but it’s what I signed up for. But I watch every one of them.”
A CU victory on Saturday would relegate Utah, an early surprise in the Pac-12, to the seventh seed at next week’s Pac-12 tournament and likely end the Utes’ NIT hopes. Utah begins Saturday at No. 70 in the NET rankings and No. 58 at KenPom.com. CU is 74th in the NET and 60th at KenPom. … A reminder CU is hosting a food drive at Saturday’s game to benefit the Community Food Share program. Collection bins for non-perishable food items will be set up at every entrance to the CU Events Center. … In addition to Gabbidon, Wright and Mains, the Senior Day festivities also will recognize senior team manager Henry Frick and senior video assistant Chad O’Connor.