Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Former Pitt Basketball player blasts School

Published on January 17, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

Pitt freshman Khem Birch was something that not many Pitt fans are use to he was a McDonald’s All-American. Now, the 6-foot-9 Birch is gone as he decided to leave the team. Birch was Jamie Dixon’s highest recruit since taking over the Pitt program in 2003. Birch will transfer to UNLV.

As you will read below Birch will not have some kind words for the Pitt program.

On the season Birch has played in all ten games and was averaging 4.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. However that was only in 15 minutes of play per game.

He was starting every game since Dante Taylor was out of the lineup because of migraine headaches. However, since Taylor returned Birch has not played more than 15 minutes in any of the past four games. He only played 4 minutes in the Tennessee game.

Why do I think Birch is leaving, that easy playing time? All top freshman want to play, and if they don’t they will either transfer, and maybe even play overseas before trying out the NBA.

Pitt has built a strong program by not getting the top recruits. Dixon gets the most out of his teams. His players don’t leave early for the NBA, because they stay and develop. There is nothing wrong with that, I like the way he runs his program, but his program doesn’t fit top talents.

If I were a top recruit I would not go to Pitt because Dixon struggles to coach elite prospects, and his offense isn’t geared for stars. Just look at Pitt’s two last highly rated prospects Birch and Taylor. They have both struggled mightily. Why, does Pitt struggle every time in March because that don’t have that one dominant superstar that can take over a game.

Now Birch talked to 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh to explain his decision. Thanks for The Fan’s website for the details.

Birch cited the departure of former Pitt coach, and recruiter, Pat Skerry as a reason he left for UNLV. The forward said he has no regrets about leaving the program, and talks about his relationships or lack of with the other players, and Jamie Dixon.

Birch said that there were some players on the Panthers who may have been jealous or threatened by him because he was a McDonald’s All-American.

Something we may not be used to with the Pitt Program is a selfish locker room, and teammates that are divided. But, Birch said that there are problems in the locker room.

Birch also stated in the interview that Pitt’s offensive pace was to slow and that he had no relationship with head coach Jamie Dixon.

If I were a highly ranked prospect coming out of high school I would never considered being a Pitt Panther. However if I would want to be developed into a good basketball player I would go to Pitt no question.

Follow me on twitter @ScottBasketball!/ScottBasketball

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