Mar 16, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) brings the ball up court against Tennessee Volunteers guard Jordan McRae (52) during the first half at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Former SEC sixth man of the year Kyle Wiltjer is allegedly openly debating transferring from Kentucky. The sophomore averaged 10.2 points and 4.2 per game last season, and played 23.8 minutes per game on John Calipari’s under-achieving Wildcat squad.
Wiltjer had a bit of a frustrating time at Kentucky, and struggled to find his true niche on the team. At times he looked lost on offense, and was only productive at a spot up shooter.
Wiltjer is a Portland native, and received a ton of offers out of high school, and Gonzaga was among the several schools to offer him. Mark Few and his staff were big contenders for Wiltjer’s services, and Gonzaga appears to a be a popular prediction for Wiltjer’s potential landing spot.
Wiltjer’s transfer should be no surprise, considering the wealth of freshman talent that is coming into Kentucky next year. He would have to compete with Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein, Julius Randle, Derek Willis, and Marcus Lee for playing time next season, so available minutes would be scarce.
Gonzaga would be a good fit for Wiltjer. He could come in right away and make a significant impact in a Bulldog front court that is lacking significant depth for the 2014-2015 season. In addition to available playing time, Gonzaga has a knack for developing big men, and Wiltjer the prospect of progressing like former Gonzaga star Kelly Olynyk will be an interesting prospect to Wiltjer, like Luke Winn from sports illustrated alluded to before in the previous tweet.
Speculation is one thing, but legitimate mutual interest is another thing. It will be interesting to see how Wiltjer’s recruitment progresses, and where Gonzaga falls in all of this.