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“Nothing but joy” for Kyle Wiltjer despite not being drafted

Kyle Wiltjer and family celebrating NBA signing. (Twitter Photo)

Kyle Wiltjer and family celebrating NBA signing. (Twitter Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

One of the better stories from NBA Draft night to me was the way former Kentucky Wildcat Kyle Wiltjer handled not being drafted.

He transferred from UK to Gonzaga after his sophomore season but remains popular in the Bluegrass as shown by the way fans reacted to him last spring when he returned to Kentucky for two weeks.

And Wiltjer quickly signed a three-year contract with the Houston Rockets after the draft ended that will get him in the summer league and training camp. He could make the roster, end up in the developmental league or possibly play overseas.

Kentucky coach John Calipari tweeted congratulations to Wiltjer: “@kwiltj may not have been drafted but he signed with Houston and has the perfect HC in Mike D’Antoni. Congrats! I know the is excited.”

Wiltjer was on UK’s 2012 national championship team and was the SEC’s Sixth Man of the Year as a sophomore before transferring.

What I really liked was his reaction Thursday night when he signed with the Rockets. He tweeted, “Nothing but joy in the Wiltjer house,” with a picture of family and friends celebrating after he signed a free-agent contract.

 

 

1 comment

  1. KingGhidora

    I hope Kyle has a great future but I have to point out that CBS picked him as the pre-season player of the year last year. Kyle is a trendous shooter but I have to think that if he had stayed at UK CBS wouldn’t even know his name (like they don’t know Willis). Willis is a much better player IMO and can get better. He has better feet than Kyle which is essential if you want to play defense and of course to play for Cal you want to play defense. It got to the point that teams immediately went right at Kyle when he was playing for the Cats. Once they realized he couldn’t stop people from driving he had a bunch of people going right by him. I had hoped his season off helped him develop his foot work but I don’t think it helped enough His PT went down after the injury to Noel in ’12-’13. He played 4 minutes less per game and his time was still dropping as the season played out. He played just 10 minutes against Robert Morris in the NIT scoring only 2 points on 1-4 shooting. Before the injury to Noel he was averaging nearly 25 minutes per game. That’s quite a drop. His point production took a big hit too going from 11.5 ppg to 5.25 ppg for the last 8 games.

    I don’t want to pick on Kyle. He helped UK win a title and I will always be grateful for that. I posted this to show the bias of CBS. When he was a UK player they barely mentioned his name but when he got to the media darling, Gonzaga, he was suddenly their pick for player of the year. Well he was until they actually played the season. Yes he had a decent season his first year for the Zags but he wasn’t playing against stellar competition. The SEC is a lot tougher than CBS wants it to be. But he had nothing to indicate he would be POY. That was just about an insane prediction and no doubt one aimed at being able to say, “see – Cal isn’t a perfect coach – he blew it with Wiltjer the POY”.

    CBS has totally gone off the deep end now. They don’t allow comments after their reports now which means no one can point out how ridiculous their claims are. I’m taking partial credit for them running for the hills. 🙂 I know they hated me there. An example of their latest ridiculous insanity was to claim that Duke – not UK – was the greatest NBA factory in college ball. Right.

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