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Walter Pitchford’s transfer opens up a scholarship for Anthony Bennett

Walter Pitchford V

Florida’s Walter Pitchford V dunks during practice at the Century Link Arena in Omaha, Neb., Thursday, March 15, 2012. Florida plays against Virginia on Friday in an NCAA second-round tournament college basketball game. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)


Florida forward Walter Pitchford will be transferring out of the program in hopes of enrolling at a school closer to his Michigan home.

Pitchford saw time in just 13 games this past season.

“It’s definitely the best thing for him and his family, just with some of his extenuating circumstances. Right now, he just needs to be near his family,” Coach Billy Donovan said Wednesday. “They need him home and they want him home.”

“It’s been great learning from Coach Donovan and competing with my teammates here at Florida,” Pitchford said in a statement. “I made this decision because I need to be closer to my family at this time.”

That name should sound familiar to you. Two summers ago, Pitchford made some headlines when DePaul refused to release him from his letter of intent. Pitchford had signed with the Blue Demons when Jerry Wainwright was the head coach, but Wainwright had been fired during the 2009-2010 season. Pitchford wanted to take his talents elsewhere, but new head coach Oliver Purnell would not release him from his LOI. Eventually, Pitchford would up enrolling at prep school for a year and was given his release.

The bigger issue here is that Pitchford’s transfer opens up a roster spot for the Gators, who are still in the mix for top ten recruit Anthony Bennett of Findlay Prep. Bennett will reportedly be waiting until May to announce his decision.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.