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Why would Wiltjer transfer? Why GU?

Kyle Wiltjer caused anguish in the hearts and minds of the Gonzaga fan base when he chose to sign with Kentucky. While many saw the logic behind the choice, compete for a National Championship, play against great competition, legacy, tradition, and so on, the decision was still less than desirable.

Now a couple years removed, Kyle has played consistently for the Wildcats (23+ minutes a game), but has not developed a truly formidable inside presence. He is able to consistently hit from long range, but his interior game is average to below average according to NBA scouts. Next year, there are a slew of top recruits descending on Kentucky. For Kyle this could mean decreased PT as the number 1 and 9 PF recruits have signed already. How much of a decrease remains to be seen as he will be a junior next year and have two solid years of contributing to the program. Kyle could spend his time in the summer developing his game to add more of an interior post presence which will help him get looks from the next level and more time on the floor next year.

There has been no solid information at this point about if Kyle is going to transfer and if so where. Gonzaga should be near the top of his list. He will more than likely have to sit out a year due to NCAA rules, which will give him time with the same trainer who helped developed Kelly Olynyk. Kyle and Kelly's game prior to the red shirt year are fairly similar with both of them preferring to play from the perimeter. Kyle would have a great opportunity to develop and have a good opportunity to get noticed by the media when he reappears after a red shirt year. Considering Kyle already has a more developed game, there may be a higher ceiling for him. Granted it depends on how hard Kyle works as every story this year about Kelly was his work ethic last year was off the charts.

Part of the equation is team chemistry. Gonzaga was blessed with outstanding team chemistry. Everyone on the floor looked like they wanted to be playing with the person next to them. Kentucky did not have the same mix this year. How Kyle fits with the GU squad will be something the coaches seriously consider.

Availability is the real question for Kyle. When Kyle will be cleared to play, there will be a young center from Montana, a young power forward from Washington, Angel Nunez, and P.K. in the front court. Both the young center and power forward are not highly recruited, and it is difficult to project where they will be in the line-up. Considering the amount of time Kyle will have to work out and practice, he will have a good chance to land the starting gig.

This post does not reflect the views of the blog authors or SB Nation.

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