Pittsburgh freshman center Khem Birch leaves team

Pittsburgh freshman center Khem Birch has left the program.

Coach Jamie Dixon says Birch, who is from Montreal, opted to

leave for personal reasons.

The highly touted Birch averaged 4.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in

10 games this season for the 15th-ranked Panthers (9-1). He started

each of the last six games and shot 57 percent from the field on

the season. He had 15 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Penn on

Nov. 25 and recorded six blocks in a victory over Robert


Pitt hosts South Carolina State on Saturday.

The school announced Birch’s decision on Friday.