Kyle Wiltjer’s transfer to Gonzaga from Kentucky raises the parallel between himself and Kelly Olynyk.
Zags coach Mark Few told ESPN.com he thinks Wiltjer could follow in Olynyk’s footsteps after sitting out the upcoming season.
That, of course, would be an ideal situation for Wiltjer, considering Olynyk was the No. 13 pick in this year’s NBA Draft.
Still, Wiltjer must get stronger and improve his overall game — he is known for his jumper — during the year he sits out.
“The similarities are the size and skill package and feel for the game,” Few told Andy Katz. “Both came to the conclusion part way through their careers that they needed to make a change in what they were doing.
“But they’re going to be different. Now it’s our job to provide the means and guidance. Hopefully for both parties, Kyle will reap the rewards of making this change and putting in the hard work and hopefully Gonzaga will too.”
Wiltjer left Kentucky and will now team up with fellow Canadian Kevin Pangos a year from now.
Olynyk redshirted his third year of college and broke out as a fourth-year junior.
“It all comes down to the guy being properly motivated,” said Few. “How willing is the guy to really, really make this all about him to get better for a year?”
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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.