# 33 Kyle Wiltjer-F
Games Played: 33
Before the season: Coming into the season a lot of pressure was already on Kyle to emerge as the leader for this young team as he was the only returning player on this years team. Last year he showed that he could be a deadly shooter from anywhere on the floor, and he was voted by most to be this years leading scorer. One thing everybody knew about Kyle’s game was he had to work on the defensive end of the floor to be a major player this season.
This season: Starting the season Kyle was great, and it looked like he was going to be the player to lead this talented team into another deep run, but like this whole season it was a roller coaster for Wiltjer. Against Maryland he and Jarrod Polson led Kentucky to victory over a good Maryland squad. Although as the season went on we started to see the defensive problems he caused while being on the floor. It all started against Vanderbilt in the SEC opener when Kevin Stallings told his guards to attack him every chance they got. It worked, and Vandy almost came from 16 down to beat Kentucky. In a must win game at Ole Miss later in the season Wiltjer was unstoppable, and had a career night with 26 points. After that game he went back into his shell, and never really found a stroke from deep the rest of the season. Kentucky was much better when he played well.
Season grade: This was very tricky for me to do, because Kyle in some parts of the season was great, and some he was playing terrible, but that could go for the whole team. I was thinking to myself that maybe the expectations were too high for him coming into the season. I think most of the Big Blue Nation forgot that he only played about 6-10 minutes a game, and averaged 6.5 points a game. He really didn’t have any pressure on him last year; because of all the guys we had. I will give Wiltjer a season grade of a C because I think he was very average for most of the season with some spurts of looking very good.
What’s next: Rumors have been flying around for the last two weeks or so that maybe Wiltjer was looking to transfer back out west to Gonzaga. Nobody can tell you where they have heard these rumors or where they even started, and I highly doubt they are true. I could be wrong but I fully expect Kyle back next season at Kentucky. As a junior I think Wiltjer may only get 7-15 minutes a game because of all the talent coming in. I really hope he comes back, and the main reason why is because of leadership once again, and a sharp shooter that any team needs to make a deep run into March. A student at UK tweeted out earlier that he heard Kyle tell a professer he would back next season, and the transfer rumors were false. We will all find out likely before you read this on Friday night.