#33 Kyle Wiltjer
6’10″ 239 lbs.
2011-12 Season Stats:
Last season, Kentucky did not depend on a single player alone to reach their goal of winning a national championship. You can make an argument for Anthony Davis, but in the end, everyone did their part and contributed. Each game somebody different stepped up. One person in particular though, Kyle Wiltjer, stepped up and helped the team in every game. It doesn’t show necessarily in his season averages, but he was always there when big shots and plays were needed.
Wiltjer has a frame of a forward, but he isn’t a traditional power forward, either. Yes, he can post up, but has shown he has the ability to shoot from deep and also has a hook shot, something not seen that often in today’s game. Wiltjer played in every game last season and sank 35 three-pointers through 40 games, shooting 42.5% on the season from beyond the arc. With someone who played in the championship game last season still on the roster, Kentucky looks to be in good hands this season.
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS YEAR?
With the Cats having reloaded at every major position, it still shouldn’t stop Wiltjer from seeing major minutes this year. Although Calipari says he is still testing the lineup, Wiltjer is projected to be a starter at the four spot. Last year, he tallied 11.6 minutes per game. With Alex Poythress possesing a similar game but playing more from the outside, Wiltjer will be more of an inside player. He, along with Willie Cauley-Stein and Nerlens Noel, will be helpful in defense and rebounding in the frontcourt.
At 6-foot-10, it makes Kentucky’s frontcourt one of, if not, the tallest in the nation. Kyle has shown he can play from anywhere on the court, and with so many freshmen on this years team, he is expected to step up and show he can be depended on heavily this season. Despite not starting one game last season, he has more than enough valuable experience to be a key player for the Cats this year.
CALIPARI on WILTJER
“Kyle showed last year that he is one of the best shooters in the nation. He’s a very versatile, highly skilled big man who can play inside and out. With his work ethic and our needs, I think you will see another dimension to Kyle this year.”