Pitchford projects as ‘rotation guy’


Had a chance to speak with ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep about recent 2011 Florida commitment Walter Pitchford.

The 6-foot-10 recruit, listed between 210 and 220 pounds on various recruiting sites, is a two-star prospect according to Rivals.com

“I think he’s a guy who has some room to grow and improve,”  Telep said. “He is probably a rotation guy for Florida, someone who will be able to run the floor and hit an occasional shot.”

Pitchford took a fifth year of high school, enrolling in Summit Christian School in East Lansing, Mich., after asking out of his letter of intent at DePaul University. For a big man, Pitchford showed soft shooting touch out to 3-point range in highlight videos.

“He can hit some shots, but I also think Florida will be looking for him to be an asset inside on the glass,” Telep said. “He has some work to do to get physically stronger to play in the SEC. It may take him some time.”


  1. Telep would have probably said something about as dumb about Noah when he signed with UF. Pitchford is like any player coming in to compete for a position.

    Pitchford has certain talents, height, jumping ability ect and some skill. How he develops his game will determine whether he is a rotation guy, a star, a solid cotributor or a wash out. Telep is just projecting his star rating which is just silly. Recruiting ratings matter little after is in college.

  2. Pitchford has a lot to look forward to now that he will be a Gator. Billy Ball is back and it’s fun for all.

    2 star? Is there a better coach at developing a player that is serious at wanting to max out his skills. I always add one star to any ranking because of the coaching they are about to experience.

    Good choice Pitchford, can’t find a better coach or college.

  3. FOR ALL BASKETBALL PROSPECTS’ CONSIDERATION (as well as GatorNation’s edification) —
    >> BILLY DONOVAN (BD), [aka: “Billy The Kid”], age 45
    >> MIKE KRZYZEWSKI (MK), [aka: “Krazy Zooski,” et al], age 67
    >>BD’s 15-season Overall W-L record (thru 2/12/11): 351-144 (70.9%);
    seasonal avg. W-L record: 23-10 (rounded to nearest whole number).
    >>MK’s FIRST 15-season (“block”) W-L record: 362-142 (71.8%);
    seasonal avg. W-L record: 24-9 (rounded).
    >>BD had 13 consecutive 20+ win seasons.
    >>MK had 11 consecutive 20+ win seasons.
    >>BD had 2 losing seasons (WORST losing season: 13-17 {1st season}).
    >>MK had 3 losing seasons (BEST losing season: 13-18 {15th season}) – [BD’s worst losing season was better than MK’s best losing season].
    >>BD had two {or 3} 30+ win seasons; (three {or 4} 29+ seasons) – {current season pending}.
    >>MK had three 30+ win seasons; (four 29+ seasons).
    >>BD had 6 {or 7} double-digit loss seasons – {current season pending}.
    >>MK had 5 double-digit loss seasons.
    >>BD’s post-seasons: NCAA: 11 (9 consecutive); NIT: 3; Missed: 1 (first season).
    >>MK’s post-seasons: NCAA: 11 (all consecutive); NIT: 1; Missed: 3 (incl. 15th season).
    >>BD’s first trip to the NCAA Tourney was in his 3rd season (Sweet Sixteen).
    >>MK’s first trip to the NCAA Tourney was in his 4th season (Second Round).
    >>BD’s first trip to the Final Four was in his 4th season (Runner-Up).
    >>MK’s first trip to the Final Four was in his 6th season (Runner-Up).
    >>BD won his first NCAA Championship in his 10th season.
    >>MK won his first NCAA Championship in his 11th season.
    >>BD won 2 NCAA Championships (consecutive).
    >>MK won 2 NCAA Championships (consecutive).
    >>BD coaches in a real college basketball arena (albeit, multipurpose): O’Connell Center (1980; 12,700 cap.).
    >>MK coaches in a glorified high school gymnasium: Cameron “Stadium” (1940; 9,400 cap.).
    We all stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before, building and hopefully improving upon what they’ve wrought. Who’s shoulders do these two Coaches stand upon??
    Coach K. (MK) stepped into a tradition-rich, popular and successful basketball program capable of boasting an impressive composite winning-percentage (WP) of 66.6% (apropos for a team named Blue DEVILS) dating all the way back to the beginning of the tenure of their coach during WWII (1942-43), and which only had three losing seasons since that time (39 yrs.) – an average of one losing season every 13 years.
    [I chose a point during WWII as a common marker for comparison sake, because UF’s basketball stats prior to WWII (the hoops program began in 1915) were incomplete and not readily available].
    Before then (WWII), even, the Duke hoops’ composite winning percentage from that time all the way back to the program’s inception in 1905 averaged 63.6%. Their overall composite WP prior to the Coach K. era (“pre-K”) – from seasons 1905-06 thru 1979-80 – was 65.5%. Obviously, a very consistent program committed to winning.
    Their seasonal avg. W-L record (“pre-K”) was 15-8 (rounded up from 14.6 – 7.7). Needless to say, fewer games/season were played back then.
    Billy D. (BD) stepped into a UF program that, in stark contrast, had precious little to boast of and even less history, to say nothing of it’s absence of tradition (unless you consider mediocrity a tradition). UF’s pre-Donovan (“pre-D”) years had a composite WP of ~52.3% (dating back to ~1946) and 19 losing seasons (since 1953) – an average of 1 losing season every two to three (2.32) years! The “winning” seasons were not inspiring, though. The seasonal avg. W-L record was a dismal 13-12 (rounded down from 13.4 – 12.2).
    MK’s first 15-season “block” W-L record (362-142) only raised Duke’s “pre-K” overall (composite) winning percentage (WP) by a paltry 1.4% (from 65.5% to 66.9%), barely bumping up the Blue Devils’ seasonal avg. W-L record from 15-8 to 16-8 (rounded down from 16.2 – 8.0).
    BD’s 15-season W-L record (351-144) [as of 2/12/11], however, has raised UF’s overall WP by a whopping 5.1% (from 52.3% to 57.4%), jumping the Gators’ seasonal avg. W-L record from 13-12 to almost 16-12 (rounded up from 15.6 – 11.6).
    “Billy The Kid’s” (BD’s) 15-season record, though ever-so-slightly behind “Krazy Zooski’s” (MK’s) record, nonetheless had roughly a 250% greater impact on the UF basketball program’s “pre-D” seasonal avg. W-L record than “Krzy’s” virtually identical 15-season record had on Duke’s “pre-K” seasonal avg. W-L record!
    It’s not surprising that BD’s performance had a greater impact on the Gators’ Hoops program than MK’s comparable performance had on Duke’s, considering the programs’ respective histories, BUT for BD to get virtually identical results out of his upstart Gators as MK got from his “vaunted” Blue Devils – and in most categories, slightly better or sooner – is, quite frankly, astonishing!!!!!!!
    Considering what these two coaches had (or not) at their respective disposal, it’s evident that Billy Donovan didn’t merely outperform Mike Krzyzewski in his respective “first” 15 seasons (and by far, comparatively),… the man has been working virtual miracles in Gatortown!!!
    Mike K. came into a well established program and was immediately in position to simply start building upon (adding to) its success, utilizing its fruitful history structured on an already stable framework with solid foundations secured in ancient bedrock.
    Billy D. came into an ill established, unstable program and essentially had to start building from scratch. Before he could hope to set about the advanced work of designing and constructing a beautiful, attractive, even sexy “building” (Program) – one which would eventually itself lure prominent admirers and contributors (Blue Chippers) – he had to lay the foundations upon which to build a framework,… but first things first: any unstable, “sandy ground” would have to have been cleared away even before that for any viable building efforts to progress securely.
    [DEAR PROSPECT-RECRUIT: I hope the above facts (statistical comparisons), coupled with US News & World Report’s (US News.com) 2011 academic ranking of UF at #53 (Harvard’s #1), put things into perspective and help you make an informed decision! GO GATORS!].
    IGTBAG! (It’s Great To Be A Gator!)

  4. Next season is the fifth and final year of Donovan’s agreed upon “ban” from the NBA (a product of his ill-fated “Magic Trick”).
    Will he (SHOULD he?!) stay at UF whenever his contract ends or will he go somewhere else???
    I would love to see him stay at UF to see if he can continue on his “Coach-K” (of Duke U.) trajectory! Billy, in his 15 seasons (thru 2/12/11), statistically matched Coach-K’s first 15 seasons (starting with an ill-established Gator hoops program versus Coach-K’s start with Duke’s already historically vaunted program, no less!).
    Coach-K’s second 15-season “block” was even better than his first 15 seasons – substantially so (but, surprisingly, not in #’s of NC’s; those were the same). Behold,…
    1st 15 seasons: 362-142 (71.8%); 2 NC
    2nd 15 seasons: 437-93 (82.5%); 2 NC
    Tot. 30 seasons: 799-235 (77.3%); 4 NC
    Current season: 23-2 (92%).
    15 seasons (thru 2/12/11): 351-144 (70.9%); 2 NC (pending current season results)
    Current season: 20-5 (80.0%).
    Consider this question, though: how challenging will it be for Duke to find an ACCEPTABLE replacement for “KrazyZooski” (Coach-K) who’d be WILLING to step into his INCREDIBLY MASSIVE and LONG shadow IMMEDIATELY following his retirement???
    Likewise for UF with Donovan?!
    In fact, it would probably be more challenging for UF than Duke because a Duke HC hopeful would likely reason that he could rely on Duke’s hoops tradition to certainly be of help – a sort of “wind beneath his wings;” whereas Billy Donovan IS the wind beneath UF’s hoops program (as well as its wings).
    When BD leaves UF, any Gators hoops success will be largely on the next guys efforts – there’ll be no (long, historical) tradition to “lean on;” very little “wind beneath his wings” to carry him – and any would-be replacement will realize that.
    Fortunately, though, Billy has been around long enough (unlike Urban Meyer’s “flash in the pan” tenure) to produce several excellent assistant, and now head, coaches that would likely be the vanguard of any viable pool of replacement candidates, thus mitigating the process (like Anthony Grant was when Jeremy Foley wanted to hire him before BD’s about-face in June ’07).
    If Billy does stay as the Head Gator and were able to continue his Coach-K performance pattern another decade or so, replacing him then might even be harder.
    If he left sooner and the next HC was as successful, or more-so, then future top-notch replacement candidates (from outside) subsequent to that guy might be less inclined to balk at the opportunity – seeing that more than one (iconic) guy can be successful at a, traditionally, “football school.”
    Since I’m on the subject of the “if and when” of Billy’s eventual departure, it might be interesting to ponder the following (and fill in the blank(s)):
    … Spurrier is to Meyer, as Donovan is to __________! Or…
    … Meyer is to Muschamp, as Donovan is to __________!
    Talk amongst yourselves; I’m becoming verklempt!

  5. Oh, I forgot to slip this in, too; a new nickname for Billy Donovan.
    If John Wooden was the “Wizard of Westwood,”
    then Billy should be – dare I say, is – the “Guru of Gainesville!”