The Nebraska Cornhuskers were very disappointing last season, especially since the team was returning many talented players after their NCAA tournament appearance during the 2013-2014 season. The team could not get it together last season, even with players like Terran Petteway, Shavon Shields, and Walter Pitchford. The season was disappointing, especially for Pitchford since he was poised for a big junior season before struggling heavily on the offensive end last season. He averaged 7.2 PPG, and 4.6 RPG as a power forward/center last season, which was not very impressive. Pitchford had the potential to be a great frontcourt player in the Big Ten, but he did not stick around long enough to reach his potential
Pitchford will be missed, but not much
Although Pitchford underachieved last season, he did have some tools in his arsenal that made him a dangerous weapon on both ends of the floor. He was super athletic for a 6-foot-10 power forward and he had good speed for his size. He also could step out and shoot from distance as a stretch-four and sometimes as a center. In his first season in Lincoln he showed great signs as he was effective from distance and was efficient from the free-throw line, but both those numbers declined in his junior season.
The reason the team will miss Pitchford is because he definitely has the ability to be a really good player, but he might not have the motivation and mind to become a great player. Last season he look frustrated on the court for most of the season and he shot terribly from the field, from three, and from the free-throw line. He struggled on the court last season and he was even ejected from a game against Michigan State when he let his temper get to him.
Watch Pitchford elbow Michigan State's Matt Costello below:
Nebraska will still be fine without Pitchford
Yes, Pitchford has the ability to be a great player and he can help out in many facets of the game, but the Cornhuskers will be fine without him. The team still has Shields and the Cornhuskers will be welcoming some new recruits and transfers that will impact the team in the frontcourt as well. 4-star recruit Ed Morrow Jr. will play big minutes for the Cornhuskers next season in the frontcourt, even though he is a little undersized. Morrow is freakishly athletic and he has a great motor. He cannot really shoot it from deep, but he is really good on the defensive end as a rim-protector.
Watch Morrow highlights from high school below:
Overall, the Cornhuskers want to forget about last season quickly and the team should not really think about what they could have been this upcoming season if Pitchford was still on the roster. He will be missed, but the team will have plenty of options in the frontcourt next season to makeup for Pitchford's departure. Look for Morrow and Shields to have a big year for the Cornhuskers up front this winter.