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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / June 17.
  • Kentucky’s Wiltjer Still Weighing Future

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    Kyle Wiltjer is still weighing his options and won’t decide until after the World University Games end July 16, according to a report in the Portland Tribune.

    The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Wiltjer could opt to remain at Kentucky and play; stay and redshirt; or to transfer, with Gonzaga being a likely landing spot, as we reported here.

    “The biggest time in Kyle’s career lies in the 14 to 16 months ahead,” his father, Greg, told the paper. “I’d 100 percent like him to devote the next year to working on his body, but it’s his decision. He feels vested in Kentucky. It has been his life the last two years. And Kyle is a very competitive kid. He is always trying to prove people wrong.”

    Wiltjer is currently training in Toronto with the Canadian National Team for the upcoming World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

    “Kyle is still a Kentucky Wildcat,” his father told the paper. “He loves being a Kentucky Wildcat. He’s not 100 percent committed to transferring.”

    Still, his father indicated that Wiltjer is not a prototypical Kentucky player. He will also have to compete for playing time this season with returnees Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein, as well as a loaded incoming frontcourt that includes Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee.

    ‘Kyle has a great relationship with Calipari, but he’s not a stereotypical Calipari player,” his father said. “If he were at Duke or some other place, they’d be running him off screens, but that’s not the Kentucky system. And now he has all these thoroughbreds coming in. Kyle’s biggest challenge is his body. He needs to get stronger and quicker, to get help with nutrition, strength and agility.”

    Wiltjer wrote an open letter indicating he is considering transferring and he visited Gonzaga last Wednesday and Thursday. He remains close with Gonzaga guard Kevin Pangos, a fellow Canadian, who told SNY.tv last week that Wiltjer was actively talking about transferring.

    Few and his staff “would very much love to have him,” Greg told the paper, “but Kyle hasn’t made a commitment that he’s going there. He has some specific needs. They’ll either get met at Kentucky or one or two other schools.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.

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