Blog Entry

Elite 2012 prospect commits to Pitt

Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:27 am
Edited on: September 30, 2010 1:34 am
Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon secured the highest-rated recruit of his career late Thursday when Class of 2012 star Khem Birch committed to the Panthers, according to's Evan Daniels.

Birch is a 6-foot-9 power forward at Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts. ranks him No. 1 at his position and No. 4 overall in the Class of 2012.

Notre Dame Prep coach Ryan Hurd told that first-year Pittsburgh assistant Pat Skerry played a major role in securing Birch's commitment for the Panthers. Skerry was at Providence last season. He moved to Pitt to replace Tommy Herrion, who is now the head coach at Marshall.

"I think [the commitment is based on] a level of comfort with Coach Skerry and Coach Dixon's personality and demeanor," Hurd said. "It fit really well with what will help [Birch] be successful."

Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse were other schools reportedly pursuing Birch.

He'll be allowed to sign with the Panthers in November 2011.


Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: October 1, 2010 6:04 pm

Elite 2012 prospect commits to Pitt

This from an article on rivals just posted today, interview with Birch.

“I am working on Ricky Ledo now. We are good friends and I am trying to get him to join me. I am also talking to Savon (Goodman) as well. I know they are recruiting Omar Calhoun too so I hope to talk to him.”

This 2012 class could be legendary

dont know if i can do this, so i apoligize if im wrong.  looks like birch is reaching out a little and trying to get some other '12s to join him at pitt.not saying you need a bunch of 5 stars every yr, but getting 1-2 a year gives u that ability to win close games when it counts. kinda like how pitts guys stay for 3-4 yrs which is one of there keys to sending out good teams. but when you get that elite talent(blair) sometimes their just too good for the college game and need to leave early like he did. cant blame him, though. dont like the kentucky model of hoops but what can you do when you have big time players like that.  go pitt

Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2010 5:00 pm

Elite 2012 prospect commits to Pitt

It's pretty absurd to judge the success of a team by national championships.  Only one of hundreds wins that each year.  Pitt has been to 9 straight NCAA tourneys, and has won a few games there along the way.  I think that most schools would call that success from a western Pennsylvania team that came out of nowhere.  This program has a strong recruiting base and will be around for years to come.  They will catch a Final Four soon enough, and maybe one day a championship.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:51 pm

Elite 2012 prospect commits to Pitt

Pitt is a very good team year in and year out but they collapse every year in the Big Dance. Dixon is a great coach but cant win in the tourney.

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:31 pm

Elite 2012 prospect commits to Pitt

Birch and Adams don't show up until Fall 2012, at which time JJ Moore will be a Jr. and Taylor a senior -- assuming either of them are still in college at that time (I mean that in the sense of leaving early, not academic issues).

Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2010 1:02 pm

Elite 2012 prospect commits to Pitt

What an excellent catch!  This is going to add to a team that overachieved last year, some of whom will be veterans by the time this guy is a frosh.  Pittsburgh basketball is on the up and up.  They are among the elite teams in the country now, and I only hope it stays that way for a classy, gritty Coach and program.


Since: Jun 26, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 11:46 pm

Elite 2012 prospect commits to Pitt

Pitt will be a possible final 4 team this year, but next year withSteve Adams, Birch, JJ Moore a soph, Taylor a JR ready to be the player he was supposed to be and Pitt will be Pre Season number 1.  These are Pitt's golden years, Dixon is starting to get thoe big recuits and this is how a coach goes from a great guy, great coach, to a stable, a Dean Smith. Dixon before its all said and done will win two titles.

Since: Jun 6, 2010
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:59 pm

Elite 2012 prospect commits to Pitt

I agree that this great for the pitt hoops team.  But I think this year's team will surprise you.  Taylor will be much improved and Brown will do well to.  Im saying another Elite 8 year.  Once we get these 2 in, and granted rankings can change, but right now we have number 4 and 46 commited, thats better athletes no doubt.  I hear the New Zealander can ball a little to. 

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 2:21 pm

Elite 2012 prospect commits to Pitt

ohhh man what a get by pitt. i agree with, that they have good to great teams, but to take them to the top you need 1-2 players of top elite athletes.  its the ability of these guys to get something going when the offense bogs down, which has hurt our chances when we get into the tourney.

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:14 pm

Elite 2012 prospect commits to Pitt

Much has been made of Pitt not being able to surpass the Elite 8 barrier.  I had always thought that the Fields/Young/Blair team was their best chance to break that barrier, and when they didn't, I didn't know if Pitt would ever get back.

I think that Pitt is a very representative example of what it takes to succeed (or not) in college athletics.  Good teams can win conferences, but I really believe that it takes great athletes with great skill to win National Championships.

Pitt's current team has a lot of heart, a great will to win, and a lot of character.  It just doesn't have dominating athletes.  Some publications pick Pitt to be in the top 5, but I would be shocked if this team made the Elite 8.  It would take monumental growth by Taylor and Brown to become dominating players day in and day out.  I just don't see it happening.

The 2 recruits that are in place for 2012 give me great hope!!  If you combine Pitt's unquenchable will to win with great athletes, only great things are going to happen for this program. 

I know nothing about Pat Skerry, but I'm ready to anoint him to be one of Dixon's greatest hires to date

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or