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By LARRY VAUGHT
If you are a Kentucky basketball fan looking for a reason to be even more optimistic next season, then let the Sporting News provide it for you.
Sporting News has already been ranking the top players at each position going into the 2012-13 season. Guess who is projected as the nation’s sixth best power forward? Kentucky sophomore Kyle Wiltjer.
Here’s what Sporting News said about Wiltjer, who was UK’s seventh player on the national title team and will bet the Cats’ most experienced player going into next season based on the roster today:
“If you think Wiltjer was one of those guys who got a championship ring for practicing hard and waving a towel during the Wildcatsâ€™ rallies, you werenâ€™t paying attention. There were moments during the season when he made an important difference with quick footwork and long arms in a double-team, when he made a well-timed blocked or when he made another clutch 3-pointer. He hit 4-of-7 3-pointers during the NCAA Tournament, 43.2 percent on the season. His shooting ability will make him a pro eventually. If he is able to add strength to a lean frame, he will be a significant pro. Thatâ€™s the project this summer. Wiltjer must be able to take a pounding for Kentucky coach John Calipari to afford playing him in the 30-minute range. With another 15 pounds of muscle, though, Calipari will have no choice but to play him that long.”
Could not agree more with all of that and believe Wiltjer will be a huge surprise â€” maybe not to Sporting News â€” to a lot of college basketball fans next season.