Pitt freshman Khem Birch leaves team

PITTSBURGH -- 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 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 Morris.

Pitt (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) hosts South Carolina State on Saturday.

The school announced Birch's decision on Friday.