Donovan gets commitment from F/C Pitchford

By Adam Silverstein
February 16, 2011

With five-star guard Brad Beal (St. Louis, MO) seemingly the only member of the Florida Gators 2011 signing class, head coach Billy Donovan made a splash Wednesday by gaining a verbal commitment from former DePaul singee forward/center Walter Pitchford (East Lansing, MI).

“I really like the coaching staff,” Pitchford told Scout. “I like the players a lot. The relationship that they have is so strong. [I like] the campus and the students on the campus and I like how everybody gets involved on campus. They recruiting me hard and they didn’t sugarcoat anything.”

Between 6’9″ and 6’10” and 210-220 lbs., Pitchford originally signed a National Letter of Intent with DePaul in 2010 but asked for and was provided with a release when the school switched head coaches. He has spent the last year playing prep school basketball and is averaging approximately 17 points and nine rebounds per game.

Rated as a three-star athlete by Rivals, Pitchford is listed as a two-star by ESPNU and was widely considered one of the best uncommitted post players in the country.

Pitchford visited the University of Florida last week and obviously came away impressed. Like most of Donovan’s big men, Pitchford runs the floor very well and is quite athletic. His jump shot is solid, but he has plenty of growing to do both as a defender and back-to-the-basket scorer.

In addition to Florida, Pitchford considered and received significant interest from Arizona State, Minnesota, Indiana and Iowa, among others.

Size is a much-needed attribute for the Gators in 2011 as redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin and senior forwards Chandler Parsons and Alex Tyus will all be graduating.

Pitchford’s decision was first reported by Adam Zagoria of


  1. Ken says:

    Great news! We really needed a big man. His status seems all over the map between 2 * and one of best available (unless the best available still aren’t highly rated) Should learn a lot practicing against Patric Young!

    • He’s ranked as a two-star but one of the best available because those better than him are already committed.

      • Ken says:

        That’s what I was afraid it was going to be. On ESPN he says they see him as a stretch 4 that can step out and hit the 3…guess can’t be much worse than our current perimeter shooters…

        DeAndre Daniels is the big name SF out there that is still considering us, would be very nice to land him, too

  2. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Nice! Welcome aboard Walter.

  3. jay d says:

    Donavan is deffinetly not known as a big time recruiter….he is a coach that tends to look for diamonds n the rough…it has worked for him in the past…. looking for guys who are underated & want to prove something…he also isn’t one to kiss ass to get these kids to commit…

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