One of the biggest stories off the college basketball offseason recently has been the late transfer of Kyle Wiltjer. Now there are reports that his new destination could already be decided.
Wiltjer, who averaged 10.2 points and 4.2 rebounds for Kentucky last season, is a Pacific Northwest kid for Portland, and he may make his way back to the region, with Gonzaga reportedly being the top team on his list.
Says Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com
“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.
With the transfer of Houston’s James Young to Oregon, it’s unlikely Wiltjer lands in his home state at Oregon, according to the report.
Looks like Wiltjer already has the support of Bulldogs’ point guard Kevin Pangos.
“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.”
Wiltjer left the Wildcats in search of a more prominent role at another high-major program. With Gonzaga losing Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk, Wiltjer’s size and outside shooting ability could help fill the talent gaps left by them.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: