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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Kyle Wiltjer: Kicking it Old School


As you probably already know, Coach Cal’s website has been doing profiles on all the program’s newcomers. All four freshmen and Ryan Harrow will be featured in the getting-to-know-you pieces, and today’s focused on Kyle Wiltjer. It details Wiltjer’s ‘old school’ game, which has been helped along the way by studying film of past greats like Larry Bird. They talk about his hook shot, also a favorite of your truly, and how his dad helped him develop many of his skills as a versatile big man.

One thing the article also touches on is Wiltjer’s reasoning behind choosing UK, when he would have been the star of so many other school’s recruiting class. If you didn’t already love him, his answer to the question should push you in the right direction:

That begs the question, why come to UK? Why not go to another school where the chance for immediate stardom is more likely?

“During my whole career I’ve tried to surround myself with the best players,” said Wiltjer, who chose UK over North Carolina, Wake Forest, California, Texas and Gonzaga. “Even when I picked my high school, no one thought I would even get minutes. I just like to prove people wrong. You get better in games, but you really get good if you’re playing against the best every day in practice because it pushes you being around that high of a level. Going against the best brings out the best in you, plus it’s fun.”

Like the legends he used to watch as a kid, Wiltjer welcomes the spotlight. Flourishing at the game’s biggest stage under the one of the sport’s most recognizable coaches is one of the big reasons Wiltjer felt so at home in Kentucky, a cross-country trip away from his native Portland.

“I love basketball, I’ve done it my whole life and I want to be on the biggest stage,” Wiltjer said. “It’s an honor to be in this environment and this kind of basketball town. I’m ready for it.”

We’re ready for it too.

Article written by Hunter Campbell

I used to write here.

17 Comments for Kyle Wiltjer: Kicking it Old School

  1. AllisonKrause
    8:16 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    a new faaaaaaaaaaavorite …..

  2. inky
    8:18 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    don’t sleep on Wilt …just the kind of player to light you up if you are devoting your defensive efforts anywhere else…and light you up if you are trying to stop him

  3. UKforLife
    8:22 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    a lot of folks are assuming he’s going to be here more than one year…don’t be so sure, he’s got the game and the size

  4. FrigFullofBeer
    8:22 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Tony Woods to Oregon. Can’t wait till season starts!!!

  5. Sexington
    8:40 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    I really like this kid everyone keeps forgetting him but he is better than Zeller and IU has a massive hard on for that dbag

  6. Yroc53
    9:13 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    This kid has a great attitude and knows what it takes to grow and get better. It will be fun to watch this kid grow no matter how long he is here for.

  7. Blueburg
    9:14 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Kyle is not your typical 5 star player. He isn’t looking to just step into the lime light. He is a blue collar guy alla P-Pat, Jorts… Look, this is the kinda young man that gives continuity to a program like Cal is building at UK. Lamb is the same caliber- lookin to improve by playin with the best before he goes up to the League to have a career. Hats off to him. He and MKG will have us lovin them all yr long only, difference is- KWill will be back next yr.

  8. Stud Studerson
    10:06 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    John Hood 2.0

  9. Samara Tass
    10:21 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    He’s gonna be a sirprize to a few people.

  10. HackRichards
    10:40 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    He’s a white boy with talent.

  11. Le Sigh
    11:10 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    I am a huge fan of this kid and his potential! I believe he’ll help us hang a banner and become celebrated. Wiltjer with the sweet hook!

  12. jwild
    12:59 am July 23, 2011 Permalink

    Cal was THRILLED when this kid committed. Honestly, it was the most excited he’s been with a commitment that I can remember. It wasn’t because Wiltjer was a top ten recruit. It wasn’t because Wiltjer was a guaranteed 25+ min per game type player. It was because Wiltjer is the type of player that fits a role that is absolutely essential to winning a national championship because he will always be the 4th or 5th best offensive option when on the floor absolutely capable of shooting 50% from behind the arc and averaging nearly double digits per game without being one of your top 5 offensive options.

    Wiltjer is the best shooter in his class and will never be the focus of a defensive scheme. That is freaking scary for opposing teams.

  13. KD
    9:08 am July 23, 2011 Permalink

    7 – I could swear I read where the kid said, “I want to be on the biggest stage. ” If you don’t want to be in the limelight, you go to some place else , like maybe Oregon. ….and how do you know who is going to be on the 2012-2013 roster?

  14. KD
    9:24 am July 23, 2011 Permalink

    Oh God I’ve got another….How can a guy shoot 50% from behind the arc, average double digits per game, be the best shooter in a class of how many D-1 student-athletes, be 6′-10″ and not be a top 5 offensive option ? ….sounds like a role player to me.
    Brian Zoubek was a role player essential to the pesky Dookies winning the NC in 2010…the only attribute he had listed above is being 6′-10″.

  15. truBLU
    9:43 am July 23, 2011 Permalink

    Settle down Katie.

  16. Iwearmybluesunglassesatnight
    12:43 pm July 23, 2011 Permalink

    Kyle, bleeds blue as much as anyone raised in Lexington! This young man is a fan favorite and will always give 110% on the court as well as the classroom. Kyle, welcome and much success sir!

  17. Levi
    10:38 am July 24, 2011 Permalink

    This picture makes him look like Rex Chapmans brother.