All signs point to Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer landing at Gonzaga, multiple sources told SNY.tv Friday.
“Gonzaga,” one coach at another school trying to recruit him said.
The 6-foot-10 Wiltjer visited the Gonzaga campus this week, ESPN.com reported.
The Oregon native won’t land at Oregon or Oregon State, sources told SNY.tv. Oregon did land 6-3 Houston transfer Joseph Young, according to ESPN.com.
Wiltjer is friendly with Gonzaga junior guardKevin Pangos, who areboth are currently on the Canadian National Team Development roster.Pangos told SNY.tv this week at the Nike Skills Academy that Wiltjer discussed transferring on the team’s recent trip to China.
Wiltjer would have to sit out one season per NCAA transfer rules if he does transfer.
“He was talking about it, not a lot because he wanted to get his mind away from it, but he was thinking about it a lot on the trip (to China),” Pangos told SNY.tv on Thursday afternoon at the Nike Skills Academies at Kean University.
“I told him obviously I would love to have him at Gonzaga if he chose to leave Kentucky, but I’m not gonna pressure him too much. He’s my friend and whatever decision he makes, he has to live with. I hope he comes back and to play with him, but we’ll see.”
At Kentucky, Wiltjer saw a limited role in 2012 for a Wildcats team that went 38-2 and won the national championship.
As a sophomore last season, Wiltjer averaged 10.2 points on his way to earning SEC Sixth Man of the Year honors in what was a down year for the Wildcats.
That down season, complete with a first-round NIT loss at Robert Morris, is about to give way to one of the best recruiting classes ever assembled. The group is headlined in part by 6-foot-9 power forwards Julius Randle and Marcus Lee, and 6-foot-10 center Dakari Johnson. Therefore, playing time figured to be tough to come by if Wiltjer had stayed.
“For sure he would be a focal point and that’s why he possibly wants to go to our school and that’s why we want him to come,” Pangos said. “He’s the type of guy you can build around. For me to be able to play with him for one year at least, it would be great and I think we could do something special.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.