Blog Entry

Birch tells CBSSports.com he's leaving Pittsburgh

Posted on: December 16, 2011 7:01 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 8:15 pm
 

By Jeff Goodman and Jeff Borzello

Khem Birch is leaving Pittsburgh after just 10 games. 

The 6-foot-9 Canadian, the highest-ranked player to commit to the Panthers in the history of the program, told CBSSports.com he has decided to transfer. 

"I'm leaving," Birch told CBSSports.com on Friday night. "I'm headed to Toronto now. I enjoyed my time at Pittsburgh, I love Coach (Jamie) Dixon, had no problems with the staff and the players. It just wasn't the right fit for me."  

Birch informed CBSSports.com that he does not have a new list and has not decided on his next destination. 

Birch, who attended Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) last season, was averaging 4.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks through 10 games. It looked like Birch was on the verge of breaking out in late November, when he totaled 23 points, 21 rebounds and nine blocks in two wins over Pennsylvania and Robert Morris. He has started six games.

However, his minutes decreased the last couple of games. Birch averaged just 13.5 minutes over the last four games after playing 28.5 the previous two.

If there is a team that could sustain this type of loss, though, it's Pittsburgh. Jamie Dixon has Taylor and sophomore Talib Zanna in the post, and Robinson, a senior, at the power forward position. Without Birch, freshman Malcolm Gilbert will likely get increased minutes. Next year, touted New Zealand prospect Steven Adams will be welcomed into the fold. 

Birch decided to reclassify to the class of 2011 last November. Scout.com ranked him No. 15 in ’11 after originally being a top five player in the class of 2012.

Photo: US Presswire 

Comments

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: December 17, 2011 1:49 pm
 

Birch tells CBSSports.com he's leaving Pittsburgh

You are one sick individual.



Since: Apr 11, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 1:44 pm
 

Birch tells CBSSports.com he's leaving Pittsburgh

He was the man.  Dixon should have played him more.  He was their best player.   



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: December 17, 2011 1:02 pm
 

Birch tells CBSSports.com he's leaving Pittsburgh

Do the names Jerome Lane and Chris Taft come to mind?Lots of potential,unfullfiied



Since: Jun 1, 2009
Posted on: December 17, 2011 11:20 am
 

Birch tells CBSSports.com he's leaving Pittsburgh

Pitt's players are beneath UK. Cal wouldn't spit on Birch. However, I can't blame players for wanting to leave a state filled with child molesters. See, anyone can make negative comments, like the idiot who attacked Cal & UK. This is in response to that dweed.



Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: December 17, 2011 9:25 am
 

Birch tells CBSSports.com he's leaving Pittsburgh

Pitt is not a program where a player is going to come to and shine.  It is a hard working basketball program that wins because of hard work and dedication to the coaches strategy.  The Panthers do not need a guy that does not want to conform to the program and just wants to get his.  The kid looked like he could be really good and if he stuck around for a while, he would have been a very nice player. Pitt has always been missing that guy that could get his own shot at the end of shot clocks and games.  That is the one down side of not having elite talent, but this team wins and wins alot.  



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 8:20 am
 

The "Pitts?"

Does anybody want to stay at Pitt anymore to do anything?  First their football coach bolts; now a basketball player with a decent upside does the same.  Midseason transfers are always somewhat curious.  They usually indicate that something is wrong with either the player or the program.  
 
I guess we'll find out soon enough.  If there is a mass exodus of football players during the coaching change, it is probably something going on at the school level.  Otherwise, it could just end up being isolated incidents.  Either way, it hasn't been a very good week at Pitt.



Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: December 17, 2011 8:08 am
 

Birch tells CBSSports.com he's leaving Pittsburgh

If I'm reading this right...he is a freshman this year???  I got lost in the "attended Notre Dame Prep" paragraph.  Anyone thinking, including Birch that there is a school better than Pitt with his name on it is smoking crack.  This kid had a chance to play 2 years in the BIG EAST and two in the ACC.  Unless there are some family issues that spawned this move, this was not a smart choice.



Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: December 17, 2011 8:08 am
 

Birch tells CBSSports.com he's leaving Pittsburgh

I have no loyalty to Pitt or asu, but when it comes to basketball asu isn't even in Pitts universe. As for football both teams are irrelevant. Asu has nicer weather, better looking girls, but it's a non factor in division 1 football and basketball. Nice baseball program, they also have put a bunch of wrestlers in the UFC but thats about it. I'm not sure why anyone would be thumping there chest about ASU's major sports programs.....



Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: December 17, 2011 8:02 am
 

Birch tells CBSSports.com he's leaving Pittsburgh

Chances are this is another obnoixous, know it all who thinks he rules the world.  Lets see where he is in 3 years. In prison for drug dealing or in the nba?  Stay tuned



Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: December 17, 2011 6:57 am
 

Birch tells CBSSports.com he's leaving Pittsburgh

Any chance he lands in Morgantown?  At least at WVU he wouldn't have the hideous pitt fans complaining about his play a mere two games into the season.  You should have heard them on the talk shows.  They were pounding on this kid after two games!!!  And I don't think he started either one of them.  These are probably the same idiots who are calling the Penguins Crosby "soft."  Sometimes it is embarassing being a fan of Pittsburgh sports.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com