Kentucky F Kyle Wiltjer says he is transferring

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky forward Kyle Wiltjer is transferring to find a "significant" role elsewhere.

The 6-foot-10 Wiltjer, who played with the Canadian development national team this summer, posted a letter on Kentucky's athletic department website Monday afternoon, saying he will seek a situation to help him "compete the way I know I can. ... wherever that may be."

He had announced in April he would return to Kentucky for his junior season. Wiltjer said Monday he has some "new and adjusted goals" after fulfilling dreams of winning a national championship with the Wildcats as a freshman and playing against some of the nation's best players.

Kentucky has signed eight incoming freshmen, including six McDonald's All-Americans.

Wildcats coach John Calipari expressed disappointment over Wiltjer's decision to leave but wished him luck on his website. He said Wiltjer has the mentality, skills and length to play professionally but needs to develop physically.

Calipari also credited Wiltjer for the progress he made in his two seasons with the Wildcats.

"Kyle went from being the seventh man on the national championship team to the Sixth Man of the Year in the SEC," Calipari wrote, "and I felt like over the next few years he was going to develop into the player I know he will eventually become.

"Unfortunately, that may happen somewhere else."

The Oregon native, whose father is a Canadian and has dual citizenship, averaged 10.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Wiltjer was second on the team with 55 3-pointers last season and made 90 over his two-year Kentucky career.

He was going to be asked to provide experience and leadership for Kentucky's incoming freshmen.

"It is difficult to put into words how hard it is to possibly leave," Wiltjer said, "yet I am confident that whatever I choose, I will give it my all. Regardless, I will always bleed blue and will never forget these amazing last two years at Kentucky."

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Comments » 40

papavol writes:

I think Wiltjer loved playing for Kentucky, but ultimately, got fed-up playing for Calipari.

voloffaith writes:

Check the numbers....how many incoming freshmen? How many roster players returning? Do the Calipari math............

ricks995 writes:

Gonzaga maybe?

Ironcity writes:

Liked the kid. had to been hard to play for such a slimeball. I hope his next coach has some character.

Colliervol writes:

in response to rctjamesjohnson#1418187:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well stated. How any self respecting KY fan can stomach what is going on up there is beyond me. They might as well join the D League. Just a sad state of affairs and a mockery of college sports. I would disagree with you about the NBA though. At least with them, you know who's getting paid and who's writing the checks.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Check the numbers....how many incoming freshmen? How many roster players returning? Do the Calipari math............

Yeah. How many players does he have returning? Max of 13 on scholly, and he signs eight new freshmen.

SummittsCourt writes:

The writing is on the wall so to speak. 8 incoming freshman 6 All Americans means no playing time at all for a talented kid who can contribute, but ole cali wants his one and done's playing so he can continue to lure them in for next season.

Why not Tennessee since he will have to sit out a year anyway.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

Am I the only one wondering where sevenT is hiding? An article about Kentucky on our site and he is not chiming in with his normal BS. Maybe he thinks this team doesn't need any upper class leadership. I probably shouldn't post this because it might wake him up.

underthehill writes:

Wiltjer is too good to waste his talent..hope he goes where he is appreciated..he got caught in a bad situation at Ky with some self first guys..especially Archie Goodwin..who Cal seemed to run off..Poly also seemed to sulk when he wasn't getting his shots..problem with some of these McStars..only one basketball..

brod writes:

a big blow to the big blue. if it wasn't for wiltjer ut would have beaten uk by 45 instead of 30 in knoxville. calipari is right. he does need to hit the weights a little bit.

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

I think he should transfer to UT. He would definitely be appreciated, and it would be giving Cal the finger. Win-win.

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Well stated. How any self respecting KY fan can stomach what is going on up there is beyond me. They might as well join the D League. Just a sad state of affairs and a mockery of college sports. I would disagree with you about the NBA though. At least with them, you know who's getting paid and who's writing the checks.

The Old Guard Blue Bloods quietly despise Calipari. Sure, they have enjoyed the wins but they feel dirty in doing so.

This kid was the only UK player I liked. He seemed selfless while the Micky D's did not.

vol98champ writes:

He said the right things. Class guy. Much talent but mostly wasted at UK. He will be a star somewhere. I have some orange blood if he needs a transfusion.

SevenT writes:

Wiltjer probably was not willing to do what was necessary to play for Kentucky (like learn to play defense and develop his core strength). Kentucky is not for everyone, it is a winning program for top talent. Calipari probably encouraged him to look elsewhere for a better opportunity. And Cal will no doubt pull strings and help Wiltjer find a better fit.

People who follow College Basketball know that what Kentucky is doing with the young player is now being copied by Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana and other big basketball programs. Kentucky invented the utilization of young talent, now others are trying to catch up.

RockyTop1_old writes:

I wish him well..GO VOLS!!

Ironcity writes:

in response to SevenT:

Wiltjer probably was not willing to do what was necessary to play for Kentucky (like learn to play defense and develop his core strength). Kentucky is not for everyone, it is a winning program for top talent. Calipari probably encouraged him to look elsewhere for a better opportunity. And Cal will no doubt pull strings and help Wiltjer find a better fit.

People who follow College Basketball know that what Kentucky is doing with the young player is now being copied by Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana and other big basketball programs. Kentucky invented the utilization of young talent, now others are trying to catch up.

UK is now a community college for the pros. This must make you so proud!!

The good news at UK is you don't have to ever worry about the scheduling issues associated with senior night!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Too bad he will probably have to sit out a year for the sake of a bunch new recruits playing time. Wiltjer was unstoppable when we played them at Rupp but he did trail off the last 8 or so games and seemed to have lost some confidence

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

Too bad he will probably have to sit out a year for the sake of a bunch new recruits playing time. Wiltjer was unstoppable when we played them at Rupp but he did trail off the last 8 or so games and seemed to have lost some confidence

That whole team lost confidence by the end of the season. And, with the guys Cal's hired for next season, Wiltjer would've had to sit a year anyway. Might as well be at a place where he'll be coached and appreciated.

UKblue02 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

UK is now a community college for the pros. This must make you so proud!!

The good news at UK is you don't have to ever worry about the scheduling issues associated with senior night!

Ironcity...there is nothing to be proud of in any college sports these days, the 4 year players are unfortunately few and far between,You call UK a community college for pros,no argument here, but let me say that's the way the system is set up now..One and done is the norm for talented high school players be it at UK, N.C Duke etc..It is what it is..My question is do you really think coach Martin would not take any of these players that UK has recruited? He like any other coach would take the best if he could even knowing they were one and done, its win win baby or hit the road...Not saying it"s right but that's what the fans and college deans want.....

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to SevenT:

Wiltjer probably was not willing to do what was necessary to play for Kentucky (like learn to play defense and develop his core strength). Kentucky is not for everyone, it is a winning program for top talent. Calipari probably encouraged him to look elsewhere for a better opportunity. And Cal will no doubt pull strings and help Wiltjer find a better fit.

People who follow College Basketball know that what Kentucky is doing with the young player is now being copied by Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana and other big basketball programs. Kentucky invented the utilization of young talent, now others are trying to catch up.

I think that Jordan kid was a freshman when he hit the game winner against Georgetown. I had no idea he owed all that to Cal and ky. You make Joe Biden sound like a genius.

SevenT writes:

in response to Ironcity:

UK is now a community college for the pros. This must make you so proud!!

The good news at UK is you don't have to ever worry about the scheduling issues associated with senior night!

It is amazing how stupid of a comment that is.

Three players graduated in 2013 who were on the Kentucky Basketball team with about 13 total scholarship players.

Guess how many Tennessee Football players graduated in 2013? A team with about 85 scholarship players.

ZERO, NONE, NADA graduated from Tennessee's Football team in 2013.

utvolfan1955 writes:

in response to UKblue02:

Ironcity...there is nothing to be proud of in any college sports these days, the 4 year players are unfortunately few and far between,You call UK a community college for pros,no argument here, but let me say that's the way the system is set up now..One and done is the norm for talented high school players be it at UK, N.C Duke etc..It is what it is..My question is do you really think coach Martin would not take any of these players that UK has recruited? He like any other coach would take the best if he could even knowing they were one and done, its win win baby or hit the road...Not saying it"s right but that's what the fans and college deans want.....

UKBlue, I have to agree with you. You seem to have some class unlike slimeball SevenT

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SevenT:

It is amazing how stupid of a comment that is.

Three players graduated in 2013 who were on the Kentucky Basketball team with about 13 total scholarship players.

Guess how many Tennessee Football players graduated in 2013? A team with about 85 scholarship players.

ZERO, NONE, NADA graduated from Tennessee's Football team in 2013.

You would definitely know a stupid comment when you see one.

Rookie2 writes:

I think this will hurt them. A team needs upper classman leadership on the court. Non of the super frosh teams have ever won a title without it. Kentucky doesn't win their national title two years ago without Darius Miller.

UKblue02 writes:

in response to utvolfan1955:

UKBlue, I have to agree with you. You seem to have some class unlike slimeball SevenT

Thanks UTVOLFAN, There is no reason to be obnoxious on another teams comment page, talk sports on a human level and we can all learn something maybe..

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to SevenT:

It is amazing how stupid of a comment that is.

Three players graduated in 2013 who were on the Kentucky Basketball team with about 13 total scholarship players.

Guess how many Tennessee Football players graduated in 2013? A team with about 85 scholarship players.

ZERO, NONE, NADA graduated from Tennessee's Football team in 2013.

GOOD grief 7teef! You're stupid! Ironman's stupid! I'm even a little bit stupid on my worst days!

That said, Kansas will beat your "stupid butts" most years. Duke should as well.

If UT can beat you by 30 with all the hearalded freshmen you had last year don't think the other teams with excellent coaching can't either. Cal couldn't tie Self's shoelaces. No I'm not a big Kansas fan.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to UKblue02:

Ironcity...there is nothing to be proud of in any college sports these days, the 4 year players are unfortunately few and far between,You call UK a community college for pros,no argument here, but let me say that's the way the system is set up now..One and done is the norm for talented high school players be it at UK, N.C Duke etc..It is what it is..My question is do you really think coach Martin would not take any of these players that UK has recruited? He like any other coach would take the best if he could even knowing they were one and done, its win win baby or hit the road...Not saying it"s right but that's what the fans and college deans want.....

Yeh you got some class. I agree somewhat. However I don't think the really great coaches are telling their players they'll play no matter who's already on the team. I don't know what Cal says nor how he gets those players. BUT I think everyone would like to see some changes somewhere in the system. No more one and dones. Require two years or maybe just let them go pro out of High school if they want. I'd even throw out rules that won't let them come back if they "go Pro" and don't make it. I admit to not studying any of this stuff though.

UKblue02 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

Yeh you got some class. I agree somewhat. However I don't think the really great coaches are telling their players they'll play no matter who's already on the team. I don't know what Cal says nor how he gets those players. BUT I think everyone would like to see some changes somewhere in the system. No more one and dones. Require two years or maybe just let them go pro out of High school if they want. I'd even throw out rules that won't let them come back if they "go Pro" and don't make it. I admit to not studying any of this stuff though.

You make some valid points, The one year play rule is a travesty, I agree with you on the play 2 or leave out of high school, Maybe play one but no schlolarship money, No easy answers at this point..From all i've read and heard about Cals recruit pitch is you are guaranteed no playing time you earn it....but that's what is put out for the public, noone knows what really is being said behind closed doors..

vol98champ writes:

in response to UKblue02:

You make some valid points, The one year play rule is a travesty, I agree with you on the play 2 or leave out of high school, Maybe play one but no schlolarship money, No easy answers at this point..From all i've read and heard about Cals recruit pitch is you are guaranteed no playing time you earn it....but that's what is put out for the public, noone knows what really is being said behind closed doors..

His sales pitch this year must have been that they were changing the rules so that 6 or 7 could play at the same time with 2 or 3 balls. Young egos are in for some reality adjustments in blue land.

underthehill writes:

in response to SevenT:

Wiltjer probably was not willing to do what was necessary to play for Kentucky (like learn to play defense and develop his core strength). Kentucky is not for everyone, it is a winning program for top talent. Calipari probably encouraged him to look elsewhere for a better opportunity. And Cal will no doubt pull strings and help Wiltjer find a better fit.

People who follow College Basketball know that what Kentucky is doing with the young player is now being copied by Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana and other big basketball programs. Kentucky invented the utilization of young talent, now others are trying to catch up.

People who follow College Basketball know that Ky got beat in the NIT last year after being projected to win it all..who is trying to catch up to that..people who really know college basketball know the team that did win it all had veteran players..Miller, Jones, and Lamb..who were the leaders..I expect the same problem with the freshmen next year we saw this year..underacheivers..

The_View_From_Memphis writes:

Stevie Wonder saw this one coming!

UKblue02 writes:

in response to vol98champ:

His sales pitch this year must have been that they were changing the rules so that 6 or 7 could play at the same time with 2 or 3 balls. Young egos are in for some reality adjustments in blue land.

I have wondered how it will all pan out myself, gotta be someone or someones that are not going to see much playing time...stay tuned i guess.

Ironcity writes:

in response to SevenT:

It is amazing how stupid of a comment that is.

Three players graduated in 2013 who were on the Kentucky Basketball team with about 13 total scholarship players.

Guess how many Tennessee Football players graduated in 2013? A team with about 85 scholarship players.

ZERO, NONE, NADA graduated from Tennessee's Football team in 2013.

Did I strike a nerve. Your coach has turned a fine university into a community college. Its a shame. As for coach Martin bringing in a bunch of one and dones. He has stated he would not do that. I will take him at his word. As for all of those graduates from the basketball team, how many kids has coach Cal recruited that have been their beyond three years?

Colliervol writes:

in response to SevenT:

Wiltjer probably was not willing to do what was necessary to play for Kentucky (like learn to play defense and develop his core strength). Kentucky is not for everyone, it is a winning program for top talent. Calipari probably encouraged him to look elsewhere for a better opportunity. And Cal will no doubt pull strings and help Wiltjer find a better fit.

People who follow College Basketball know that what Kentucky is doing with the young player is now being copied by Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana and other big basketball programs. Kentucky invented the utilization of young talent, now others are trying to catch up.

That may be the weakest excuse I've ever heard. Figures though when there is no defense for this debacle. You are obviously not one of those self-respecting KY fans that I spoke of earlier. Just one of the many who care about nothing but wins no matter what the cost or how embarrassing it may be. If I had to guess, I figure you're not an alumnus but a typical sidewalk fan who doesn't give a rip how bad the school looks. Just wins so you can wear that hat and raggedy t-shirt proudly.

TheEffect writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Well stated. How any self respecting KY fan can stomach what is going on up there is beyond me. They might as well join the D League. Just a sad state of affairs and a mockery of college sports. I would disagree with you about the NBA though. At least with them, you know who's getting paid and who's writing the checks.

Calipari hates the one and done rule (NBA rule). He recruits the best players available.....the same ones Tenneesse would love to have, but can't get. Don't be so naive.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to TheEffect:

Calipari hates the one and done rule (NBA rule). He recruits the best players available.....the same ones Tenneesse would love to have, but can't get. Don't be so naive.

Naive? Actually I agree somewhat. I think Martin and lot's of coaches would have loved having Cal's crop most years.

However our crop beat Kentucky pretty well last year. It was somewhat of a fluke I know. But it does show what having all inexperienced players can do to chemistry. You may have been in that game more with one player back...even though we can say we didn't have Maymon. I don't envy Cal his players that don't get the time in to learn the game.

murrayvol writes:

in response to UKblue02:

Ironcity...there is nothing to be proud of in any college sports these days, the 4 year players are unfortunately few and far between,You call UK a community college for pros,no argument here, but let me say that's the way the system is set up now..One and done is the norm for talented high school players be it at UK, N.C Duke etc..It is what it is..My question is do you really think coach Martin would not take any of these players that UK has recruited? He like any other coach would take the best if he could even knowing they were one and done, its win win baby or hit the road...Not saying it"s right but that's what the fans and college deans want.....

Actually 4 year players are the rule rather than the exception (not counting UK). There are only 350 jobs in the NBA and considerably less than 100 of those turn over in a given year. Do the math.

Other than that your post is spot on.

murrayvol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

You would definitely know a stupid comment when you see one.

That one went in just below the water line. Touche'

Colliervol writes:

in response to TheEffect:

Calipari hates the one and done rule (NBA rule). He recruits the best players available.....the same ones Tenneesse would love to have, but can't get. Don't be so naive.

My guess is that you are another of those sidewalk fans who only care about wins. I know who Calipari is and what he's made of. Watched him operate for 9 years down here in Memphis so I have a pretty good handle on it. I am sure we have some fans who would gladly sign a deal with the devil for the sake of wins but I'm not one of them. My diploma and the University of Tennessee mean more to me than that. Even though I despise the rule, every school would take one every now and then if given the opportunity. KY is doing it with 4 to 5 kids every year and that's a ridiculous situation.

TheEffect writes:

in response to Colliervol:

My guess is that you are another of those sidewalk fans who only care about wins. I know who Calipari is and what he's made of. Watched him operate for 9 years down here in Memphis so I have a pretty good handle on it. I am sure we have some fans who would gladly sign a deal with the devil for the sake of wins but I'm not one of them. My diploma and the University of Tennessee mean more to me than that. Even though I despise the rule, every school would take one every now and then if given the opportunity. KY is doing it with 4 to 5 kids every year and that's a ridiculous situation.

Your posts only say one thing....you are jealous.

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