After a source told Big Red Report earlier in the afternoon Florida transfer Walter Pitchford would be Nebraska Cornhusker, we reached the the 6-foot-10 power forward early Saturday evening to discuss his commitment to the program.
"Really the size of the facilities, the great coaching staff, and the future players are what sold me," said Pitchford. "The players like to play everyday and have a hard working mentality. I really loved that about them and just felt comfortable the whole time."
A true freshman at the University of Florida last season, Pitchford averaged 1.7 points in 13 contests in Gainesville.
During the time of his announcement to transfer from Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reported Pitchford was planning to leave to be closer to home in East Lansing, Michigan. The report indicated Pitchford's grandfather was ill. East Lansing is roughly 730 miles away from Lincoln, Nebraska. Because of the distance, it's unknown whether the NCAA will grant a hardship waiver and allow the sophomore to play this season.
"I will file a waiver, but I don't know at this point," said Pitchford. The Lincoln Journal Star reported a source told them it's unlikely the sophomore would play this season anyway.
Pitchford knows Nebraska basketball has seen better days, but is also confident new head coach Tim Miles has what it takes to turn the program around.
"It's the Big Ten baby, it's that simple," said Miles regarding his early interest in Nebraska before deciding to visit. "It's a rebuilding process, but I want to be part of something special. Coach Miles is going to bring in players who are hungry and want to be good. I can see that in the players that he's already got. They want to work hard and get better. They want to win and want to buy into the system. That's good enough for me."
During his senior season at Summit Christian Academy, the power forward averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocks per contest.
Pitchford describes himself as a "hybrid four" who can shoot the basketball. He will start attending the University on July 1st.
More on the Florida transfer's decision to head to Nebraska in the coming days.