September 30, 2010

Pitt lands five-star power forward Birch

Pitt added its second commitment for the class of 2012 this week, and it might be the biggest recruit Jamie Dixon has landed.

Fitchburg (Mass.) power forward Khem Birch is a five-star prospect, and as of this week, he's a Panther. Birch is ranked the No. 4 overall prospect in the class of 2012 and the No. 1 power forward.

When Rivals.com announced Birch, 6'8" 180, as the No. 4 prospect in the nation, basketball recruiting analyst Eric Bossi wrote that Birch is "still a little raw on the offensive end," but added that he "has explosive athleticism, plays with heart and is improving rapidly."

Rivals.com basketball recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer also likes Birch's potential.

"Birch has a high level motor and athletic ability that you rarely see in a prospect," Meyer said. "If he grows a couple more inches and refines his skill game he could certainly put pressure on the guys ahead of him."

Birch picked Pitt over offers from Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Ohio State, Providence, Texas, St. John's, and West Virginia. He took an unofficial visit to Pitt two weeks ago while the football Panthers hosted New Hampshire, and he gave the trip rave reviews.

"The visit was great," Birch said. "It was the best visit I have had to this point. I would give it a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. The fans were crazy at the game. They knew who I was and knew every single player. I have never seen anything like that before."

Birch was recruited for Pitt by assistant coach Pat Skerry.

"My relationship with Coach Skerry is great," he told PantherLair.com. "We are so close it is unbelievable."

Birch is Pitt's second commitment in the class of 2012, joining New Zealand center Steven Adams. He is also the second five-star recruit to commit to Pitt. Sophomore center Dante Taylor was also a five-star prospect when he signed with Pitt.




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