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Khem Birch Explains Why He Left Pitt Basketball

Khem Birch, who came to Pitt as a top recruit this season but left when the semester ended, explains his decision to transfer to UNLV in this interview. It's all a bit difficult to parse, in that he's only giving one-sentence answers, but it's something.

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What is it about the way Pitt plays basketball that doesn't fit the way you play basketball?

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I felt like they slow the ball down too much. It's not, like, a fast-paced team ... they said that with all the athletes coming in, that we were going to be more of a fast-paced team.

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So basically, just to reiterate, it came down to the system. There wasn't anything else with relationships to the coach or the players that made you want to start somewhere fresh.

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It was also the kind of relationship I had to the team and the system.

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Birch goes on to say that he thought some of his teammates felt "threatened" by him as a top recruit. He describes a Pitt locker room where players would "mope around" if they "didn't get what they wanted," even when the team was winning. He also says teammates Ashton Gibbs and Nasir Robinson tried to get him to stay, but to no avail.

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For more on Pitt basketball, check out Cardiac Hill.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.