Blog Entry

Birch sets record straight, gives school list

Posted on: December 29, 2011 10:09 am
Edited on: December 29, 2011 10:14 am

By Jeff Goodman

Khem Birch wants to make a couple things clear. 

First of all, he didn't bolt Pittsburgh because he's in a rush to get to the NBA. Second, he didn't leave because of those around him telling him that Jamie Dixon's program wasn't best for him. 

Birch said he left because he wasn't happy at Pittsburgh and didn't feel it was the right fit. The soft-spoken Canadian, who left the Panthers after just 10 games, admitted that he didn't "bond with the players on the team" -- and that the style of play wasn't ultimately one that suits his game in an ideal manner. 

"Coach (Jamie) Dixon is a great coach and a terrific person," Birch told from his home in Canada. "I just didn't think it was the best place for me." 

The bottom line is that Birch, who was the highest rated recruit in Dixon's tenure, wasn't happy. There are some who felt he should have stuck it out longer, but Birch said that he and his mother decided it was best for him to play elsewhere. 

"I'm not in a rush to get to the NBA," he said "I know I have a lot of work to do." 

Birch reiterated that he wants to go somewhere more up-tempo and a spot where he can develop his four-man skills. "I want to play more four," he said. "That's one of the main reasons I went to Pittsburgh in the first place. I know I don't have the four-man skills yet, but I want to develop them." 

He said that several schools have expressed interest thus far. His early list includes Florida, UNLV, Gonzaga, Washington, Xavier and New Mexico State. Birch is close with fellow Canadian Kevin Pangos at Gonzaga and also developed a friendship with big man Sim Bhullar - who is at New Mexico State. 

"I'm going to try and take a few visits soon," he said. "I just want to make the right decision." 


Since: Oct 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 6:55 pm

Birch sets record straight, gives school list

Kudos to Jamie for sticking to his guns. He's not going to play someone at a position that isn't in the best interest of the team NOW and I'm glad he didn't bow down to Birch when he was complaining about playing out of position. Dixon knows what he is doing and is one of the best developers of talent in college basketball so Birch is going to miss out on that.

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2011 3:10 pm

Birch sets record straight, gives school list

Intersting analogy, but it is different. While Khem may or may not have known how  tough it is at Pitt's practices, there was no doubt that Larry Bird knew exactly what to expect at IU. You are free to disagree and buy this puff piece - probably aided by one of his handlers. I wish him no ill will, but it will be interesting to see how long he stays at the next place that he attends. Or the next...

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:34 pm

Birch sets record straight, gives school list

This kid made a huge mistake in leaving Pitt.  Jamie Dixon is arguably the best teaching coach in the business and Birch needed this as much as any other player on that squad.

Part of his problem may have been a lack of desire to play defense, not against opponents, but his own team mates in practice. They do not take prisoners in their scrimmages...and a self anointed super star figured he should not have to incur the stress and punishment doled out during every practice.

Another problem was most likely due to the fact that he could not earn playing time just by flaunting his reputation...he had to produce. He failed to do this in the minutes he was allowed and that was considerable for a freshman, especially at Pitt.

Just think, if he had trouble during practice, what would have he done when the Big East play commenced?  Maybe in retrospect his going home and crying to his mom sooner than later was smart.  

Since: Nov 25, 2011
Posted on: December 29, 2011 4:41 pm

Birch sets record straight, gives school list

Go Blue Hoses. Class act Nancy Gates

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2011 2:14 pm

Birch sets record straight, gives school list

Uncle Odie, this isn't really any different than Larry Bird walking out on Bobby Knight back in the day. These guys aren't grown men or professionals quite yet, nor should we expect them to know their own minds at this point in their lives. Give the kid a chance to find HIS place in the world, for crying out loud!

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: December 29, 2011 1:45 pm

Birch sets record straight, gives school list

I see Transfer U is on the list for Khem.   The days of XU being an acedemic scholl and hard to get into are long gone. *8 transfers in 5 yrs all with major issues.  This school is more like UNLV of the 90's then a Chrsitian Private school anymore.

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2011 1:10 pm

Birch sets record straight, gives school list

Oh, I am guess he is going to put some thought into it this time around... How long will he stay at the next school? Then again, maybe sitting out a year will help him to mature a little.

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