Well, for now, it looks as if Khem Birch is now staying put (at least according to the unofficial posts on Twitter). This has been a crazy night, but here's my take.
I'm pretty convinced that Birch was considering a transfer at some point tonight. My biggest evidence of this? Two things:
1. There were some pretty self-explanatory tweets from former players Brad Wanamaker and Jermaine Dixon that came out when all of this stuff was breaking. There was also the one from Tray Woodall earlier in the day that indicated something big was going down:
RT @TrayWoodall1: Wow..... To the news that's about to unfold....
For added effect, that was retweeted by Ashton Gibbs.
There was also something else that was telling.Through it all, Pitt didn't issue a statement. Not a denial that it wasn't true, nothing. I understand that the university can't react to rumors and speculation all the time, but something involving the biggest recruit perhaps in the history of Pitt basketball would surely deserve something. Anything.
The fact that the administration didn't make a public comment about it (even when asked about it) tells me something was up. What exactly? We may never know. But based on those tweets from Wanamaker and Dixon, it looks like it was possibly about playing time.
Birch could stand to play a bit more, but the fact is that as I've written about recently, he's actually been outplayed by Dante Taylor lately. Dixon is the kind of coach to reward good play and you've simply got to earn minutes in his system. The other thing to point out is that Birch is actually getting quite a bit of time on the court. If this is true, I'm a bit surprised that the playing time was the complaint.
But for now, it's looking like it could be over. Possibly. Birch could simply have had a freshman moment and came to his senses. Or maybe it was blown way out of proportion. Whatever the reason, Pitt is better off if he decides to stay.