Former high school McDonald's All-American and current Pittsburgh Panthers freshman Khem Birch has announced that he is leaving the school to pursue a better opportunity for his basketball career:
"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 has played in 15 games averaging 4.4 points and five rebounds in 10 games this season. The former five-star Birch said that Pitt is not a good fit and that he wants a school that will prepare himfor the NBA ($):
"He's looking for development, a school that will develop him like a big man," Sparks said. "Khem's mentality is that he wants to play the sport and if he makes the (NBA) he wants to be good. Khem wants to learn as much as he can. He wants a school that's going to run him up and down the court. He doesn't want to play center, he wants to be a four."
Birch is from Massachusetts and is looking to get away from the East coast by looking at the Florida Gators, New Mexico St. Aggies, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Oregon St. Beavers and the UNLV Runnin' Rebels. He is looking to take visits starting this week, but has not set up specific dates. If he is looking to go to the NBA Oregon State and New Mexico State are odd choices; does he realize that Reggie Theus is no longer the head coach at New Mexico State?
UNLV and Gonzaga also are not NBA factories, so his choices are not really adding up to what his ultimate goal is. His high school coach gets the feeling that he is being advised by the wrong people, and he believes it will not end well for Khem.
I don't know too much about his situation, but deciding to transfer 10 games in his freshman year is not a good sign. However, if he has the talent -- by all indications from his high school career he does -- a team will take a chance on him.
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