Following Kyle’s announcement that he would be taking his talents to Spokane the pundits have begun to weigh in on his decision. First up is Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Eisenburg who calls Wiltjer’s move a smart decision. Here’s an excerpt:
Many Kentucky fans were hopeful Wiltjer would have a change of heart and take a redshirt year in Lexington since he’d have to sit out a season anyway even if he transferred, but the truth is Gonzaga is probably a better option.
Wilter likely would have been a role player at best this season for Kentucky had he come back thanks to the arrival of an ultra-talented recruiting class. Even if Wiltjer got stronger and quicker during his redshirt year and some of the players ahead of him in the rotation enter the NBA draft, there’s no guarantee he still wouldn’t be fighting for minutes the next season because of the way John Calipari recruits.
At Gonzaga, Wiltjer will almost certainly start once he becomes eligible and he’ll get to play alongside close friend and fellow Canadian Kevin Pangos. What’s more, the Gonzaga staff recruited Wiltjer out of high school and can point to the success fellow Canadian forward Kelly Olynyk had this past season after taking a redshirt year to help him get stronger and develop an interior game.
Wiltjer certainly can be an asset to Gonzaga if he taps into potential.
Is Gonzaga truly a better option? That remains to be seen. If Kyle is made the focal point of the Bulldog offense and uses that platform to get to the league then maybe it was the better option. Still all the things Wiltjer could accomplish with the Zags he could just as easily do in Lexington. It was undoubtedly a smart move if Kyle wants more shots with less competition while embracing the chance to play zone defense. However Cal has shown he can take a guy like Jorts and get him to the league. You just have to work at it. If Kyle’s ultimate goal is to play in the NBA the Gonzaga route seems like a harder road to navigate. Best of luck to the young Canadian.