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Pitt Basketball: Freshmen Khem Birch And Malcolm Gilbert Bulking Up

This is the news some of us have been waiting to hear regarding Khem Birch especially - the freshman are filling out a bit.

Now, it's not a lot, but reports are that Birch and Gilbert, Pitt's freshmen centers (or power forward and center, depending on how you look at it) are gaining a bit of weight.

Adam Zagoria says that both are bulking up just a bit:

Khem Birch, a 6-foot-9 Canadian forward pictured above, is the McDonald’s All-American and enters with the hype of being a potential NBA Draft pick. Since he’s been at Pitt, he has added 10 pounds to get to 210 pounds, "and it’s great to see that," Dixon said.

"He’s going to be a very good player," Dixon said of Birch, who finished up at Notre Dame Prep. "He’s really picking things up well, and that’s been encouraging for me."


Malcolm Gilbert is the 6-11 shot-blocker with a huge wing span from Academy of the New Church (Pa.). He has added 14 pounds to get up to 240. Within a year or two, he could slide into McGhee’s old role as someone who alters a ton of shots.

Gilbert was already a bit bigger, but it's good news to hear that Birch has added a bit. Even ten pounds will help a little and he'll obviously gain some more weight once Pitt's conditioning program takes hold. Birch is still thin and will need to gain weight to keep up in the Big East, but this is at least a start - especially considering there's still some time before the season even starts.

Birch is the big fish, obviously, but I'm extremely curious about Gilbert. There's more and more filtering out about him around the internet and Scout and ESPN both list him as a four-star center heading into the season. Scout even calls him the #12 center in the nation. With the departures of Gary McGhee and J.J. Richardson, it's looking more and more like he'll get playing time in the rotation this season with Dante Taylor and, if he plays the 5, Khem Birch.