Monday, January 21, 2013
Kyle Wiltjer's emergence
By Joe Kaiser
After scoring only two points through Kentucky's opening two SEC games, sophomore big man Kyle Wiltjer stepped up big for the Wildcats last week.
The 6-foot-10 forward out of Oregon erupted for a 17 points in back-to-back games against Tennessee and Auburn, both Wildcats' wins, and that was especially huge considering the injury to Willie Cauley-Stein.
“He’s not accepting that he can’t get the ball. So now, even if he misses a shot or two, it’s fine. You leave him in,” UK coach John Calipari said of Wiltjer in the Courier-Journal after the Auburn game on Saturday. “He’s playing better. ... He’s playing more aggressive. There’s no tentativeness to his game, and that’s how I want him to play."
Wiltjer is third on the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game this season, but he is fifth in rebounding (4.4). That's an area where he'll have to pitch in more until Cauley-Stein returns to the floor.