Breaking Down Kyle Wiltjer's Best Options After Leaving Kentucky
It's not often a double-digit scorer that was a McDonald's All-American becomes available.
So it's no surprise that Kyle Wiltjer already has plenty of suitors, according to a report from ESPN.com. According to sources, Wiltjer has received interest from Gonzaga, Portland, Texas, Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State.
More suitors could arise, but for now, let's take a look at how Wiltjer fits at each program.
Gonzaga was floated as a possible destination for Wiltjer in March by 247Sports recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer.
Mark Few's program does seem like the logical destination for Wiltjer. Here's what Gonzaga can offer:
The offense fits his skill set and is in an area of the country he's familiar with on a team that's relevant. It's a pretty easy sell.
The system is the biggest selling point. Wiltjer's game would best be described as a skilled offensive player with a great jumper with the one negative being that he's slow. Few has done all right with that type of player. Adam Morrison should come to mind.
The Zags also run a lot of action with their big men floating to the top of the key, where Wiltjer is most effective.
The Zags also have a fellow Canadian in point guard Kevin Pangos. Once Wiltjer is eligible in 2014-15, those two could form a nice one-two punch.
If Wiltjer wants 100 percent certainty that he will be the man coming in without any competition, then Portland would be the place for him.
The Pilots have won seven games the last two years in the WCC. He could go there and put up numbers. But would anyone notice? Unless Portland coach Eric Reveno has an amazing relationship with Wiltjer, it's hard to see him landing at Portland.
Texas has a player very similar to Wiltjer in Ioannis Papapetrou, but that should not eliminate the Horns.
Rick Barnes needs players. He needs scorers. And both could play at the same time.
Like Papapetrou, Wiltjer would fit in well in Barnes' system. The coach runs a lot of flex offense with the chance to catch and shoot near the top of the key. The clip above is Wiltjer knocking down a catch-and-shoot three out of the flex.
It's hard to imagine that Wiltjer would not get a ton of playing time if he went to Texas, but if I were in his camp, I would have one hesitation: Barnes likes his teams to be dominant on the defensive end, and Wiltjer is not a great defender. That could impact his playing time if he goes to UT.
Johnny Dawkins has playing time to offer Wiltjer, but the talent might drop off once he's eligible to play.
The Cardinal will graduate four starters after next season, including the frontcourt of Dwight Powell, Josh Huestis and Andy Brown. Of course, it's not like that group has been world beaters. They were expected to be an NCAA tourney team last year after winning the NIT in 2012 and ended up back in the NIT.
Dana Altman can make a similar pitch as Gonzaga's Mark Few. The Ducks have a system that fits Wiltjer in a part of the country he's familiar with in a program that's relevant.
Altman could point to E.J. Singler as a similar player to Wiltjer who has had a big role in his program. Singler averaged double figures and played 30-plus minutes per game in his three years under Altman.
The Ducks will also have a spot for Wiltjer in the lineup in 2014-15 with big men Mike Moser and Waverly Austin graduating.
It's easy to see Wiltjer as a good fit in the Princeton offense. He's a good passer with a nice feel for the game.
The Princeton offense can also lead to a lot of threes, although that hasn't really been the case in Craig Robinson's system since he was at Brown. He could adapt with a stretch-4 like Wiltjer.
The one danger in going to Oregon State is the stability of the program. If it's Robinson that Wiltjer likes, there's a chance the coach might not be around to coach him. Robinson is entering his sixth season in Corvallis and he's yet to make an NCAA tournament or have a winning season in the Pac-12. The same worry could be in play at Texas and Stanford as well.