Scouting Report: 2011 forward Walter Pitchford

  • 01/09/2011 9:37 am in

Joe Eberhardt is a high school sports blogger and regular contributor to Inside the Hall. You can follow him on twitter at @IndyHSHoops and read his blog,

Walter Pitchford played twice this weekend in a tournament at Vincennes University. On Friday night, Pitchford scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a game against Iowa Western CC, and Saturday night he scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Here is a quick scouting report on Pitchford along with a quick highlight video of the 6-9 forward.

Most Impressive: The two things that jump out about Pitchford are his length and explosiveness as a leaper. The 6-9 forward is able to finish plays above the rim on offense and elevate to block shots on the defensive end. Athleticism and length help Pitchford on the glass, allowing him to rise above opponents for a rebounding advantage. He uses the offensive glass to finish plays and create second chance opportunities for himself and teammates. Pitchford also shoots the ball well for a big man and is able to hit shots out past the 3-point line. He has a quick release allowing him to elevate over defenders and get off shots in traffic.

Needs Improvement: Pitchford’s biggest room for improvement is adding strength to his slender frame. Added bulk would help Pitchford as a defender and allow him an easier transition to the college game. Shot selection is also an area where Pitchford could improve by limiting his jump shots and not falling in love with the perimeter. Pitchford is a great shooter for his size, but he can drift out to the perimeter and settle for jump shots for extended periods of time. He could also stand to add some low post moves to his offensive repertoire, utilizing his nice touch to score in the paint. His ball handling could also be improved upon, which would allow him to create further mismatches.

Conclusion: Pitchford is a player with great shooting touch and athleticism for his size. He is a tough player to defend because of his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. Defensively, Pitchford is fundamentally solid and could use his length and athleticism to be a great collegiate defender. Pitchford needs to get stronger and look to score more down low, but has the base to be a skilled power forward at the next level.

In his Words: “I give it my all when I am on the court. I can do things at my size that other guys cannot. I can shoot the ball, I can put the ball on the floor, and I can play above the rim.”


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  • Hoosiers1111

    Thanks, but no thanks. A 3 point shooting big man isn’t going to solve any problems. Get a JUCO banger with some athleticism or pounce on a true big who de-commits in the spring.

  • Marsh21

    well it’s easy to see why our coaches like this kid. Low post moves could come easy for him if he’s got the right coach helping out.

    I had hoped for a banger though playing next to Zeller.

  • I really like the athleticism this kid displays. The put back dunk was certainly exemplary. Can’t have enough 6’9″ players like this – fits CTC system and he should get stronger and be effective within the first two years.

    He has developed a decent outside shot, can’t see whether he is good with the left hand. Defensively he had a nice block – overall, if CTC thinks he has the motor needed to develop – he would be a nice addition and he could come onboard next year. He is a 5th yr student and should be mature to help out immediately…..

  • Anonymous

    When you look around with what is left in this class, its not a whole lot. This kid can be a banger, but probably needs a year or two to develop his body. Now he will still play and is a great asset in Coach’s system. He runs a dribble and drive system. Players like this and watford play great in his system. The good news is that Zeller is a banger and a great scorer inside. Zeller is a beast and their is not a lot of kids out there with his body and talent. He reminds me of Watford and can be a great assest in year 2 or 3. Now I have heard a lot of people getting really down this year on the team. I like this team. I would like to see them win 5 or 6 six games in the BT season and one or two in the tournament and that would get this team to an NIT. But CTC knows what he is doing and he is doing a great job. I look forward to years to come with him. Go IU! And I hope we do get this kid. 2012 is a great class but you need help now and this kid seems like he has got the talent to play at IU.

  • Phattybrown

    I like him, he doesnt have an awe factor obviously but he is getting attention from UK and MSU so he cant be too bad. I dont understand all of this concern with getting a “5”……… a true 5 doesnt fit this system that coach is working on. Walter has the athletecism that we lack inside. We need guys that can move around with long bodies and can jump. Our bigs are simply not athletic enough on the block on defense. I hate to bring up the fact that JaJuan Johnson is not a true 5 when it comes to body size and he has done more than hold his own in the big ten. We need guys with his length and athetecism. Walter fits that bill, and with a little coaching and muscle added to his frame he can be a huge asset. Walter is an upgrade to TP and BC as far as fitting into the system and his length and hops will help us on the boards.

  • Marsh21

    i think most people are saying we need an instant impact low post player. call him 4,5 or whatever but we need someone who can rebound,alter shots, play defense and if he has the ability to step out sometimes to hit a three that’s fine. Guy M. was a traditional low post player that didn’t fit into Creans system but the need is so obvious Crean took the chance.

  • JerryCT

    My personal preference is for a low post game ala DJ WHite and an offense that uses it. But realistically this is NOT coach’s sweet spot. If anything he needs a defensive 5 but not an offensive 5.

    If this is true perhaps this kid is a good fit.

  • Anonymous

    Often prep schools play games against D-I junior varsities, too.

  • Anonymous

    I hadn’t considered that, but you may be on to something in that the offensive end isn’t really where a post guy is needed as much as on the other end. If he can rebound and defend, the offensive end is gravy.

  • Anonymous

    Not that it doesn’t always suck to lose, but after yesterday the Penn State and Colorado losses don’t look quite as bad as everyone made them out to be.

  • Dannon Brown

    Sounds like last year when everyone was bashing Coach for our recruiting class of VO and Sheehey and now everyone loves them. He helps our team, he is an upgrade to Pritchard and Cap (on the surface of course having not seen him play in person) and gives us an athletic upgrade as a whole. Add Walter and CZ next year and our interior gets a big upgrade. Add Perea and Jurkin to 2012 and we are a force on the interior for the near future. Do you think there is a player out there like a sullinger or cousins just waiting to come help IU? He is an upgrade that we need. other options?

  • Kelin Blab

    Talent upon talent is what Walter has….not sure if this is a move for 2011 or more long term. I am going to assume long term. Christian won’t be there forever….so he could step in at that spot and play some other positions too. It is not to fill a need in 2011 although I think Walter could help.

    The addition of more athleticism is great, hence will and victor, with even more coming after him. The true 5 stuff only applies for some other big ten teams, but kids ….IU isn’t into the true 5 or PG stuff. It seems to be versatility, good character, toughness, and athleticism is on the menu….not point guard or true 5.

    Walter, you could be a great piece to the puzzle and I don’t think teaching him post moves would be an issue.

  • Anonymous

    Pritchard, Watford, Pitchford. Can you imagine them all being on the floor together. A nightmare line-up for the announcers.

  • InTheMtns

    I had the same thought, Marcus. The other thought: We think we’re frustrated – how frustrated must Sparty fans be?

  • Tberry

    Maybe that is our problem.

  • hoosierinDaVille

    you say ” IU isnt into that true 5 or pg stuff ” well the way I see it is IU isnt into that winning stuff either . So kids , maybe we should get into that true 5 stuff , and use Mr Zeller in a way that exploits his talent .

  • kristheboss

    I’m sorry but I have to respond to this, this sort of negativity just annoys me so much…
    Tom Crean is building a team with a certain focus, the type of athleticism he has been recruiting as of late (VO, Sheehey, Perea, Zeller, Yogi, Buss, and now Pritchford) are evidence of this. And from what we’ve seen of the 2010 class more athleticism is going to help. If you add an athletic big who is actually mobile (this is an incredibly difficult dunk for a hs sr. thats 6’10 to perform ) So you’re telling me adding another big body with god given athleticism would not help exploit Zellers talents over the next few years?????
    On the topic of pgs, Crean is getting AN amazing PG in Yogi for 2012, and unfortunately lost out with one of the best PGS in 2011 Bj Young.. (and while he was getting recruited ppl on this site were complaining we don’t need a PG and didn’t think we should go after BJ and focus on 2012 guards)
    On the topic of Centers, again… Peter Jurkin?? Are our fans seriously so short sided they cannot realize that Crean is doing what is needed at that position? He pulled in a 7’0 and unfortunately the 2011 class of centers were pretty much committed early, Crean never really had an ‘in’ with anyone in that class. And Chandler had so many problems I would of been more disappointed in signing him than going one year until Jurkin gets here.

    So in short stop acting like IU isn’t building a program thats into that ‘winning stuff either’ and before you say we need to get into that true 5 stuff… check the recruits

  • I’ve read the arguments pro and con on Pitchford and I’m happy to say I have enough confidence in Crean to make the right decision. I don’t have that same confidence in many other coaches.

    As to the argument that we should jump on him because UK and others are interested, I’m not sure I agree. After all they may be interested in him because we are and because the media is writing him up. Furthermore the fact that Kentucky wants him is singularly unimpressive. Perhaps they know that he will accept payola, or that he doesn’t have the academic ability to attend a real college. Kentucky like other programs wants someone who will fit in with their kids; so maybe they know he’s a troublemaker.

  • Dannon Brown

    i think you may be looking into that a little too much…….. As far as my point of him drawing attention from other schools such as Minny, MSU and UK was just a point that the kid has talent. I back all of Creans moves, but without knowing much about the kid i may question our motive if he was on the radars of the likes of IUPUI, or IUPUIFW. Simply stating that the attention is a positive as far as his ability goes.

  • Kelin Blab

    kristheboss I also think we need to start thinking more long term, which I am adjusting too as well. Walter does NOT have to come in and be Carmelo Anthony. If IU is to build a successful program they must sustain that for more than one or two years….so Pitchford may not pay off immediately but over a 4 year period he could be great…or he just may pay off immediately.

  • Kelin Blab

    He can shoot, play above the rim, rebound, block shots, and is a big man. What can’t we use here?

  • BaseballBuc

    Hmmm I’m going to say pass. Not a true big man, which is what we need.

  • Anonymous

    Not sure, but if DaVille means you’re in Louisville that might explain the negative tone of your post. Having to put up with the day-to-day babbling of UofL and UK fans can skew your view of the world.


  • Anonymous

    And an opinion that you share with this Southern IN IU bball fan and in a strong way.

  • N71

    I’d agree, pass…seems like another Derrick Elston. Nothing against Derrick, but he’s already at IU. Therefore, I’d prefer a defense first banger with a lazzy eye, tats, bad breath, and a 4.0 gpa. Would help if he has an squirley uncle he hates that teased him for years about how good the Boilers were. Every Purdue game would be payback for years of torment. Where is this guy?