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2 - Khem Birch

UNLV 

  • Birthday: 9/28/92
  • NBA Position: Power Forward
  • Class: Junior
  • Ht: 6-9
  • Wt: 209
  • Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • High School: Notre Dame Acaademy (Mass.)
  • Team Site Profile
  • Statistics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Overall

88

NBA Comparison: Jerome Williams

Strengths: With a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a 35.5-inch vertical, Birch is an exceptional shot blocker – averaged 4.8 blocks per 40 minutes this past season at UNLV … A solid team defender – shows hard, has good recovery speed, erases shots from the weak side, covers a lot of ground, and generally disruptive to opposing offenses… Runs the floor well, and can finish above the rim with ease … Offensive game is mostly facing up and creating against slower big men, as well as utilizing his athleticism at the rim ... Underused as a passer, but is capable of being an effective playmaker in transition and from the post … Good rebounder, especially on the offensive end of the floor … Exhibits decent ball handling skills at times ... For a big man, he doesn’t foul very much (2.9 PF per 40 minutes this past season), and he knows how to play when he is in foul trouble …

Weaknesses: Very limited on the offensive end – most of his points come on put-backs, on cuts to the basket off the pick and roll, or in transition … According Hoop-Math.com, nearly 70 percent of Birch’s shots came at the rim this past season, and he made a modest 62 percent of those shots. Also, he made less than 27 percent of his shots away from the rim ... Working on a hook shot, but currently has no go-to post move… Inconsistent form on his midrange shots … Shooting form is generally awkward … Lacks much in the way of a back to the basket post game ... Not strong enough to covert offensive putbacks the way he should ... Has the ability to drive, but struggles to finish through contact … Easily outmuscled and pushed around in the post when matched against bigger players… Doesn’t set solid screens … Not very physical or aggressive … Needs to add considerable strength to his frame ...

Notes: Last season at UNLV, Birch averaged a double-double, with 11.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, and finished second in the nation in blocks with 3.8 per contest. His total of 124 blocks set the school’s all-time seasonal record… Was named the Mountain West Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2012-13 and 2013-14… Measured 6'8.5 (in shoes) 220 lbs, with a 7'0 wingspan at the 2013 Nike Big Man Skills Academy

Outlook: Birch played at both the 4 and the 5 spots for the Runnin’ Rebels, but right now, he is too slight to be a center in the pros. This past season, he often looked overmatched against the big and physical lineups of Arizona (a loss) and New Mexico (one win and one loss), but to his credit, he still managed to average a respectable 10.7 points, 11 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in those three contests… Birch is clearly a limited offensive player at this point, and it is very questionable if he can significantly improve this aspect of his game. Even so, his long wingspan, athletic ability, and defensive/rebounding prowess should earn him at roster spot.

Richard Harris 6/9/14

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