Khem Birch was unhappy with his role in Pittsburgh and will be playing for UNLV this season. abcnews.go.com
Old Team: Pittsburgh
Khem Birch won't be eligible to play until UNLV's fall semester ends, so he'll have plenty of time to acclimate to the Rebels' system.
Birch, ESPN's No. 12 overall recruit in the class of 2011, transferred from Pittsburgh after just 10 games because he was unhappy with the way he was being used.
It was nothing but good news for UNLV head coach Dave Rice, who told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (per Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy):
“We are excited to have him in the program. After getting to know him, it's obvious he is committed to working hard and developing his game. One of the things he is most excited about is our up-tempo style of play.”
Birch is unpolished, but he has the potential to be a dominant big man for the Rebels. He's a superb athlete and is already a game-changer on the defensive end of the floor.
He put up modest numbers at Pittsburgh (4.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game), but he was clearly unhappy and didn't receive many minutes. He'll thrive in UNLV's up-tempo game and could be the best player on what is quickly becoming a loaded Rebels squad.
It's been quite some time since UNLV has made serious noise in the basketball world, but with the addition of Birch, the Rebels are set to do just that.