Birch is taking his talents to South Beach ... er, UNLV (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
And just like that, Khem Birch, quite possibly the best recruit in the history of Pitt basketball, is headed to UNLV.
Now, I never bought in too much to the 'Birch may come back to Pitt' theory after the first week passed. I figured if there was any chance he'd be back, it would have been soon after he left. But now that he's apparently headed to Nevada, time to officially let him go.
My feelings on this are pretty well documented. While he's clearly able to do what he wants and while I won't kill him for the decision he made (he's a kid who made a mistake ... we all did), to leave a team that early in the season high and dry was pretty lame. If Birch really didn't feel like he fit, I would have at least preferred him to stick around for an entire season and not quit on the team. By leaving early, he not only agitated fans, but more importantly, he let his teammates down. Despite what they may say publicly, Birch's move was a selfish one and there's simply no other way to put it. His move really put the team in a bad spot this season as they were surely counting on him for depth.
But harboring ill will towards him isn't good for anything, so I hope he finds whatever it is he's looking for out west. I've heard insane talk about Birch not being a good player, etc. He's an incredible defensive talent and once his offensive game catches up to that, he'll be a force for sure.