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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Why Kyle Wiltjer’s Potential Transfer Doesn’t Worry Me

1. He doesn’t really fit Calipari’s system

-If you forget, Wiltjer even committing to Kentucky came as a surprise to many.  At the time, UK was recruiting Chane Behannan for the 4-spot, but Wiltjer’s sudden commitment changed a lot.  But at the time, it was all good.  Wiltjer was still a Top 25 prospect with good size, etc etc.  But as you witnessed in his 2 years here, Wiltjer had some flaws.  And unfortunately, they were flaws that went against everything Calipari seems to want.  Cal loves slashers, even at his power forward spot.  Wiltjer certainly wasn’t that.  He had no serious ability to drive the ball to the hoop, which was especially bad because he got the ball on the perimeter so often.  When coming up with an ideal lineup for a dribble drive offense, I strongly doubt a player like Kyle Wiltjer is included.  Look at Calipari’s 2 best teams before Wiltjer arrived.  His 2008 Memphis team and his 2010 Kentucky teams had athletic 4-men (Patrick Patterson and Joey Dorsey) who could move much quicker that Kyle.

2. His strength wasn’t as strong as you might think

-I think we can all agree when asked what Kyle Wiltjer did best, the answer would be his outside jump shot.  And I would agree with that assessment.  But the reality of the situation was Kyle Wiltjer was a very good outside jump shooter…….for his size.  At 6’10”, he presented matchup problems because other power forwards had to guard him on the perimeter.  The truth is, overall, Kyle Wiltjer was a decent shooter.  A streaky shooter at best.

In 2011-12, Kyle Wiltjer shot 36.6% from the 3-point line.  Julius Mays shot a higher percentage than Kyle while shooting more 3-point shots.  Now while Mays was considered a decent shooter, I don’t remember anybody acting like he was a dynamite shooter.  Yet, when talking about Kyle, people talked about his jump shot like he was Doron Lamb.  Lamb, by the way, shot 46% from the 3-point line in 2012.  THAT is a great shooter.

3. His weaknesses were exploited

-Rebounding and Defense.  Something a 6’10” guy HAS TO DO.  He has to or he becomes a gigantic liability on the floor.  And Wiltjer became that, especially in his sophomore year when he saw the floor more.  Team after team attacked him in the post if they had a capable big man, especially after Noel went down.  But more important, in my eyes, was he inability to rebound effectively.  Consider this stat: ARCHIE GOODWIN HAD MORE REBOUNDS THAN KYLE WILTJER LAST SEASON.  In the same number of games.  Goodwin played 9 more minutes per game than Kyle, but that is absolutely no reason your shooting guard should outrebound your power forward for a season.

4. Playing time could be limited anyway

-On last years mediocre team, Kyle Wiltjer still played just the 5th most minutes on the team.  Yes, he was a starter, but he also was often one of the first players subbed for.  Now, with the amount of talent coming in, especially at the 4 and 5 positions, playing time was going to be cut.  Unless there was some major improvement coming in the offseason, then Kyle would have played less minutes this year than last.  Probably a big reason why he transferred.  But it also emphasizes how his loss should not have a serious impact on the title chances for the Cats.  I don’t consider losing the 7th man in the rotation to be a serious blow to the chances.

5. Experienced Leadership is Overrated

-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the leader of the 2012 team.  I don’t need my older players to be leaders, I need my STARS to be leaders.  I know people talk about Patrick Patterson on the 2010 team, but it always seemed to me John Wall really had the reigns of that team.  And that is what makes a great team great.  If the Harrisons or Randle are true leaders, the loss of an experience Wiltjer will have no effect on this team.  The problem is that it is sometimes rare for a freshman to step up like that.  Wall and Gilchrist were exceptions, more than rule.  Certainly every great needs a leader, but I am sure it doesn’t have to be an older player.  Plus, if reports of Wiltjer’s sometimes questionable work ethic are true, then I am not sure he would have been a leader anyway.

I don’t highlight these 5 points to rip on the kid as he maybe heads out the door.  I hope he stays honestly.  He’s an interesting player to watch.  I more point it out for the fans who are panicking about what Wiltjer leaving might mean to the title hopes.  We wish Kyle the best on his next endeavors if they are not in Lexington, and I truly hope he does become the focal point on some team’s offense if he does leave.  But when it comes to the 2013-14 UK basketball team, I am not so sure his departure might mean.  And for that, I come into this next season with as much confidence with Wiltjer as I do without him.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

44 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Why Kyle Wiltjer’s Potential Transfer Doesn’t Worry Me

  1. El Pollo Loco
    9:05 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Why no one, especially Kyle, cares what BTI thinks:

    1) Because BTI sucks.
    2-10) See #1

  2. Davender
    9:05 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I wish BTI would look at other schools…

  3. tom
    9:06 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    just when you were starting to become respectable you come up with rubbish like this.

  4. Zack
    9:07 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I disagree, man. Wiltjer will be missed by this team, I think his experience is more valuable than you think.

  5. Davender
    9:09 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    When Cal says “Kentucky is not for everyone”, he’s talking to BTI

  6. Jerry Tipton
    9:12 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Hey, I was going to write this article! What are you doing?

  7. bung
    9:13 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    we prob should have gone to kyle more for open shots off picks in the half court…espesh with our point prob and the dibble dive being largely ineffective as our record indicated…that, and running more fast breaks so we didn’t have to be in the half court as often would have helped…

  8. Jason
    9:13 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Brilliant. The guy isn’t even sure to leave, and you post garbage like this. Way to be encouraging.

  9. Beeswax not Yours Inc.
    9:14 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    How are you going to go and rag on Kyle now after being upset that he was leaving?

  10. Michael F. Jox
    9:15 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Good article, Bryan. I agree, but think your 3rd reason could have been summed simply by saying, He’s a man who doesn’t enjoy touching other men. In my opinion, that’s the major reason why Kyle struggles with rebounding and defense. Yes, he is slow and weak physically, but you have to have the BALLS as well. Even without great strength and athletic ability you can be effective at both defense and rebounding, but you have to have the dog in you to do it, something Kyle desperately lacks.

  11. Davender
    9:15 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s have BTI transfer and sit out a year… and when I say “a year”, I mean forever.

  12. Kristen Geil's Abs
    9:15 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I just don’t get it, why is he out playing essentially “pick up” games? Get in the gym and do ladder drills, then go lift weights. Drink a protein shake and take a nap. Repeat this until the season starts.

  13. transfer
    9:16 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Why a BTI transfer would mean everything

  14. Wrecked it Ralph
    9:17 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    You know BTI just when i think you couldnt possibly be any dumber you go and do something like this… and TOTALLY redeemed yourself!

  15. robert dozier
    9:18 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    i thought i was the 4 man and dorsey was the 5 on that 2008 memphis team team.

    also… kyle may not be a guy that “drives” to the basket.. but he can certainly get where he wants with the ball. i always thought of kyle as a complete offensive player as a 4. he could shoot well. he could pass well and he had some decent post moves to get a shot off.

  16. Davender
    9:20 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    BTI is the poop in humanity’s ice cream…

  17. JD
    9:20 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Matt….have someone take this down,SMH

  18. bung
    9:21 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    should rename articles…bti’s bizarro world…

  19. T-Rex
    9:23 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    #8, #17 – totally agree. This is ridiculous.

  20. UKfanNKY
    9:23 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    #4 I agree with you

  21. TallyCat
    9:26 am July 1, 2013 Permalink


  22. jdneedstoknow
    9:28 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    BTI you suck!!!!!!

    9:29 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t listen to these fools BTI. Wiltjer is an after thought at this point. He gave up just as many points on the defensive end of the court than he scored. Who cares if he leaves just makes room for more of a Calipari type player in Marcus Lee. Wiltjer had no work ethic. Where was he when we needed someone to step up last year??

  24. Kev
    9:29 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    U have got to be kidding me. Kyle would fit in just as he did on the 12 team. Focus on the other 4 would have him spot up. Disagree with this. Hoping Kyle comes back and red shirts to work on physique. Goggles up Kyle.

  25. Duck Fuke
    9:30 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Kyle Wiltjer = Chris Bosh

  26. bung
    9:33 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    If we had an offense that could score points our defense would not be an issue…

  27. Sam
    9:37 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    You have to be a fool to think that the best post player, the player with the most skill who has EVER played at UK (at least in the last 40 years), would not be missed.

    Too many people think you have to be a high-flying John Wall type of “ooh and aahh” player to fit in with a Calipari team. Most would reluctantly pick up Larry Bird on the playground as the last player selected.

    However, if you all would pay attention, every single defender who tried to guard Kyle while he was backing them down in the paint, had the utmost respect for Kyle. He is virtually unstoppable in the post, and CAN be THE guy. But we do not have a “one star” or “you will be THE guy” type of team. We have a multitude of threats instead of one.

    And like Greg says, and as everyone knows, the ONLY thing that Kyle must do is get quicker and stronger and commit to excellence in defense.

  28. cdc_uky
    9:38 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I disagree.

    -Players typically improve year over year and we could certainly use depth and a shooter.
    -I think his shooting percentage would improve greatly this year. We did not have a good point guard last year. He would get much better looks this year and the numbers would show it.
    -He would provide leadership as well…even if not the vocal leader, he has been through the process and knows how things work.
    -He is a great teammate too.

  29. Mc
    9:38 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with this for the most part, but I also agree with #24. #23 is right too. When Noel went down there was no hiding Wiltjer’s terrible defense. Wiltjer would have had a role similar to the 2012 team where he’d come in for a few minutes at a time. However, Wiltjer doesn’t want to be in this role obviously as a junior. I also think he’d be 8th in the rotation: WCS, Randle, AP, Harrison, Harrison, Young, Johnson, Wiltjer, Lee; honestly you can debate him being 7th, 8th, or even 9th. He knows this, and he’s leaving. Would have been a good year to have Julius Mays get 8-10 minutes a game. Wonder if there are any 5th year seniors, or if we’ll go after Exum?

  30. tbradg
    9:40 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    poor form.

  31. Travi
    9:43 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    There’s no way it was gonna work out for Wiltjer, to many new/better guys coming in. He might flourish in another system but idk if he is the type of player that can make it to the next level

  32. Kentucky Effect
    9:43 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Slow, unathletic, defensive liability, streaky shooter, mentally weak. Yep, that sums up Kyle.

  33. El Guapo
    9:44 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    Most of the same things were said for 3 years about Darius Miller, but without Darius to consistently knock down a huge shot in desperate times, we don’t win the 2012 title. We were collapsing late against UofL and in the final, Kansas was whittling down the lead. Who made huge plays when the freshmens’ sphincters were puckering? You guessed it. Without a veteran to make huge plays in the clutch, that team chokes and you watch Bill Self walk away with a trophy and a hairpiece. This is why we need Wiltjer. Even if he plays 4-5 minutes in a game, he CAN make a huge shot, and he is less likely to flake when things get tight under the bright lights.

  34. rj
    9:44 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    BTI you hit the nail on the head with every point you made, theres a large percentage of UK fans that will back having a white guy on the team no matter what. if Kyle’s name was kareem none of them would care.

  35. RealCatsFan
    9:46 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    This article may have not been what everyone wanted to hear, but BTI makes some valid points. Look back at the 2012 team, and while Kyle hit some shots for that team, I think everyone will agree that Lamb and to a lesser extent Miller were the guys that that team looked for to hit the big shots from outside. I hate the thought of Kyle leaving – he could become one of the few UK players with multiple championships. That being said, I think that winning that ring as a part of the 2012 team may have been his undoing. Physically, I have seen almost no development of his body – he does not appear to have put on any muscle, and his quickness on the court has not improved. I think he needs to have a Jorts-like awakening to the kind of work ethic that is required to succeed at the next level. Maybe a transfer is the best thing for him as far as playing time is concerned, but sometimes taking the path of least resistance can stifle your growth as a player, and also as a person. I would like to see him redshirt this year and concentrate on getting stronger and quicker, and then make a strong push for his final two years.

  36. Jerry C
    9:51 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    We can now add “classless” to the many pejorative adjectives used to describe you.

  37. RealCatsFan
    9:51 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    33, I think the problem is that Kyle will not be satisfied with only 4-5 minutes per game. That is why he is thinking about transferring – he got a taste of being “da man” with the Canadian team, and now he wants that taste all the time.

  38. Ugly muffin
    9:57 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    How do you guys figure Kyle is a good post player? He travels down there almost every time because he doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Just because people brag on his hook shot doesn’t mean he actually scores with it very often. I gotta agree with BTI on this one.

  39. Pabloco
    9:57 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I can’t see how people can reasonably disagree with this post, Unless #34 is correct.

    I think #34 is 100% correct.

  40. tom
    10:00 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    34. Now that’s just stupid…and uncalled for

  41. Musehobo
    10:04 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    I’ve said this a lot on here before. I HATE trashing the writers on KSR. But BTI has outdone himself this time. This is disgusting. As word breaks this morning that he may be contemplating a return, you post this garbage. I would hate you for trashing him even if he was for sure gone. But the kid is a KSR fan, and you’re basically telling him to get the hell out. Why don’t you, BTI, just quit, and save yourself the trouble of getting fired. I’m really, very surprised at this. Puke.

  42. Shawon
    10:22 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    BTI sucks!

  43. Kyle Macy
    10:24 am July 1, 2013 Permalink

    BIT is the worse!

  44. bluecreeker
    9:11 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    Kyle Wiltjer’s strength is his knowledge and understanding of the offense. While on the floor last season he made everybody look better.

    For anybody to write an article stating that Kyle Wiltjer’s only strength was hooting 3’s, shows a total lack of Basketball IQ.

    Kyle knew more about running Cals’ offense than anybody else, and when Cal ran the offense through Kyle UK was much better. It was only due to Cal being a stubborn a$$ (Just like Tubby) and attempting to play his “style” that Kyle was relegated to less minutes while Goodwin, Harrow, and Poythress absolutely stunk up the floor. Not only did they stink up the floor with their performances, they did so with their attitudes. I think Poythress can be redeemed, but am glad the other 2 are gone………but I digress.

    Having a 6’9″ kid on the perimeter who can milk the three, has a great BBall IQ, has a great team mentality and attitude,can flat out pass the ball, create offense, and make the defender honor his range is a beautiful thing if used correctly, as Mark Few about it. It is a style of ball that harkens back to the days of fundamentals……nothing close to what I see Cal wanting from his team. Oh, he wants them to learn and know the fundamentals….but his game is all power, all NBA, with very few sets and/or screens.

    The worst thing that can be said about Kyle, is that his skill set does not mesh well with what Cal wants to do.

    Love the kid, want him to stay, but think he would do much better going to Gonzaga.

    This all IMHO.