Saturday, December 17th, 2011 at 9:16 am  |  2 responses

Pitt’s Khem Birch Leaves Team

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

Highly-touted freshman Khem Birch has left the Pittsburgh program and returned home to Canada. The McDonald’s All-American, who was averaging 4.4 ppg and 5.0 rpg, is undecided about whether he will transfer from or return to the Panthers.

Birch’s decision was certainly not from a lack of playing time. Under Jamie Dixon, he was an exception — a freshman who was playing serious minutes. Birch started the last six games and led the team with 1.9 bpg.

Both Dixon and Birch have said little regarding the decision thus far.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“Khem has decided to leave the team for personal reasons,” Dixon said in a statement. “We thank Khem for his contribution to our program over the last semester and wish him great success in the future.”

If Birch decides to transfer, he will need to sit out two semesters before he can return. He also can enter this June’s NBA draft.

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  • Dr. DL

    I always feel bad when college players do stuff like this. It recently happened with Jabari Brown and another guy at Oregon. The kids clearly think that the world will continue to bend over backwards and give them opportunities to succeed based on their perceived potential. But the truth is they may be willfully throwing away their career. Their is just this finicky sense of entitlement that leads some athletes to cut and run over a few bad games or some superficial reason, and transferring at the NCAA level is not something to take lightly. It means a missed year of basketball and a new situation that is not gauranteed to be an improvement. Sometimes it does work out and sometimes it is done for legit reasonss, but in this case and in the case of Jabari Brown I think it’s just ego and entitlement combined with an attitude that any struggle or life challenge is somebody else’s problem so running away from it works best.

  • EtheKnickFan

    Dr. DL–spot on. Americas youth has a sense of entitlement that is out of this world. I tell the kids, on the team I coach, to practice drills so they can get a FREE education not make the league. What is unfortunate is when some parents insist their 4’3 kid is ready for the pro’s cause he hit three jumpers in a row……on the 9′ basket inthe driveway.