September 2, 2009

Wiltjer Keeping it Open

The state of Oregon has quietly been churning out some outstanding college basketball players for years now and with the arrival of stars like Kevin Love and Kyle Singler, the state has made a name for itself. Representing the best of Oregon's 2011 class and following in Singler and Love's versatile footsteps is Jesuit High School's Kyle Wiltjer.

Having recently started his junior year at Jesuit High School in Portland, Wiltjer is soon to be right back in the mix of high school basketball but it's hard to forget the outstanding summer the sharpshooting power forward had.

"I had a really good summer and I think that it helped open up my recruitment a lot and I have a much greater variety of schools after me now" Wiltjer told, "I would say that my play at the Nike Peach Jam was my best because I think that my versatility really showed because I shot the ball and rebounded very well there."

Wiltjer is known for his fundamental basketball and his ability to mix his game up depending on his opponent but he said that he takes pride in the one thing that most prospects of his size don't do well.

"I take the most pride in my shot mainly because not a lot of big guys can shoot and it really cause mismatch problems because I can draw big guys outside where they aren't as comfortable being" Wiltjer said.

The jump from high school basketball in Oregon to big-time college basketball is vast and a major part of that difference is athletic ability and toughness. When asked what he'd like to work on most, Wiltjer noted that it all starts in the training room.

"I have been working with a trainer because the main thing I need to improve is my overall quickness and strength and getting more physical in the weight room" said Wiltjer.

His immense talents have caught the eyes of scouts all across the country, especially here at In fact, Kyle was recently named a five-star prospect and while that means little to him, he admits that it is great to see his hard work pay off.

"Mainly for me it's about schools and who is interested and offering but it feels good to be appreciated and my coach is the one that actually called and told me (about his five-star status) because he checks that stuff every now and then" Wiltjer said, "But like I said, I don't pay attention that the rankings too much because I know that most schools don't either."

While he is mainly focused on bringing home another state title for Jesuit, the recruiting process is really heating up for 2011 prospects and Kyle's outstanding summer has brought a number of teams in the picture.

"At this point I have eight offers from Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Gonzaga, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Southern Cal, and Arizona State" Wiltjer explained, "I've also been getting a lot of calls from Kansas and a lot of East Coast schools like Kentucky, Wake Forest, and Georgetown."

A number of high-priority prospects often get wrapped up in committing way too early and then wind up changing their minds and Wiltjer wants to make sure that sort of thing doesn't happen to him.

"For me, I haven't really picked my favorites yet right now and am just enjoying seeing what each school has to offer. I'd say that most of the Pac-10 schools, like Stanford, have been recruiting me hard and Gonzaga has been going really hard as well" Wiltjer said.

Stanford is one of the few Pac-10 schools that has not come through with an offer yet but they've definitely been an interested observer for quite some time.

"I like Coach Dawkins a lot and they are a great program and they call me once a month. I love Coach Dawkins' background and he tells me to keep working on certain things in my game I'm doing and since he has been following me for around a year and a half he has seen how I've improved" Wiltjer explained, "So if Stanford did offer me a scholarship they would definitely be a school that I would really consider."

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