Just some thoughts on Khem Birch's possibly impending transfer. The first thing I want to say is that even though I said that it wasn't coming from me personally, people still claimed it was coming from me that Birch was going to be a one and done. Now that both involved are gone, I guess I can say now that it was former Pitt assistant Pat Skerry, who recruited Birch, who told me that he thought Birch would be a one and done. And also as I reported, he said he didn't think Birch would be ready for the NBA but that rarely matters with kids like him.
Which brings me to the second point and that's that from people I talked to at the time of his recruitment, Birch had a few let's just say unscrupulous people in his life. Because this was from people who were very "close to the situation" and I didn't deal directly with the people in question, I won't say specifically who it was. But let's just say that when Pitt was trying to close the deal with Birch, both a family member and somebody in AAU, were trying to get him to go somewhere other than Pitt because they were offering something that Pitt wouldn't- and it wasn't playing time. But Skerry, Jamie Dixon, and ND Prep head coach Ryan Hurd won the battle for him to do the right thing.
Clearly, however, those bad elements got into Birch's head again which is too bad. He is actually a good kid and he's had adults with bad intentions who have been using him for their own gain. This is hardly the first time this has happened when it comes to this level of recruit and it won't be the last. Unfortunately, this is often the baggage that comes with the elite high school prospects. I've had many people who know Dixon say he usually doesn't get involved with the top kids because he doesn't want to be involved with the shadiness it takes to land most of those players. But in no way should Dixon stop recruiting such a player if he feels they can help him and he can do it on his terms There may be others who, like Birch, don't pan out. But if Dixon does not strive to get the best talent, then he's not helping the program.
Late recruiting note: A few days ago I was told that 6'8" Jakarr Sampson, who Pitt wants as a 3/4 would probably not end up at Pitt. You have to think with Birch leaving, the Panthers would have a better chance, but we'll have to see.
One player you can forget about now is Anthony Bennett. He has the same "advisors" as Birch, I'm told. In fact, I was told there is "ZERO percent chance".
Lastly, there is Savon Goodman, who would probably be the best option for Pitt, at least in the basketball sense. He is 6'6" but is tough as nails and could play the four easily for Pitt. The problem is, he wants to play the three in college so that he can go to the NBA. He's still better than any three that Pitt currently as, however, and I could see them going after him hard for that reason.