Earlier this morning, Matt shared the Portland Tribune interview with Kyle Wiltjer’s father with you in which he said that his son hasn’t decided whether or not he wants to leave UK. In fact, Greg Wiltjer said that his son is considering three options: a) playing at Kentucky next season, b) redshirting at Kentucky or c) transferring.
The reason Kyle is reconsidering his future at Kentucky is that he wants more playing time. Based on the three options he has before him, which is the best solution? Let’s take a look:
A) Play at Kentucky next season
In terms of playing time, this is the worst option for Kyle. Kyle would get minutes serving as the squad’s outside threat, but that’s about the only role he would play. I love Kyle, but he is too slow to keep up with this group and in order to keep up with Cal’s system in general, he desperately needs another year to bulk up and change his game.
B) Redshirt next season at Kentucky
Let’s call this the “Jeff Sheppard option.” As Drew Franklin pointed out last week, Kyle’s best choice may be to redshirt next season, “get fit,” and then come back with a vengeance for the 2014 season. He would have two years of eligibility remaining, and, with most of the 2013 team gone to the NBA, could be an integral part of the 2014 squad. For Kentucky, this is the best option as well. As we’ve seen, Cal’s squads do best when they have at least one strong veteran presence. A year in the gym would allow Kyle to do what he needs to do to get his body in the shape it needs to be for his future, and at the same time, he could stay in #LaFamilia. Also, as we’ve discussed before, there’s the all-important girlfriend factor. Wiltjer’s dad said that Calipari has already approved this possibility, and that if Kyle does return to UK, he hopes he’ll exercise this option.
Wiltjer visited Gonzaga last week and it seems the most likely destination if he does transfer. If that’s the case, Kyle will get minutes in a system more tailored to his style after sitting out for a year, which will give him a chance to rebuild his body. However, that would mean the end of his career as a Kentucky Wildcat, something he says has been near and dear to his heart. Also something to consider: if Kyle does go to Gonzaga, what will that mean for his draft stock in a few years? At UK, he has the tools, exposure, and the “Kentucky effect” to make the most of his stock, but he has to put in the work.
All in for Option B, say aye. Aye!