Sitting in the bleachers court side, Kyle Wiltjer looks like your average teenager. But, when the 6-foot-9 junior forward from Portland (Ore.) Jesuit hits the court, he's not so average anymore. Skilled and fluid, he's developed into one of the top recruits in the class of 2011.
After a huge summer, it's not surprising that things have picked up.
"Recruiting has really picked up. I had a good summer and it's opened up things with a lot of schools," said Wiltjer. "It's pretty wild with getting a lot of conferences and variety of schools. Last year it was mostly West coast schools but now the East coast programs are getting on me as well."
A tireless worker who meets with a personal trainer to focus on improving his individual skills and body, Wiltjer plays the game with a high degree of skill. He's got top of the line footwork in the post, scores with either hand and can shoot with accuracy to beyond the three point line.
Not surprisingly, he's going to be looking for a school that will allow him to showcase his varied skills and likely one that is known for getting the most out of players like himself.
"I'll be looking to play somewhere that I can be versatile," said Wiltjer of what he's looking for in a school. "If there's a smaller guy I can have the freedom to post him up or up or if there's a bigger guy I'm going to be able to play out on the wing. There's various schools that are known for point guards, or getting bigs ready for the next level. That's what I need to focus on."
If the list of schools dropping by to see him in open gyms so far this fall is any indicator, he'll have no trouble finding that fit. UCLA, Kansas, Gonzaga, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Wake Forest, Kentucky and Texas have all made stops to see him.
During the sumer, Wiltjer made a trip of his own to Lawrence for Bill Self's Elite camp and he feels good about the Jayhawks.
"I feel pretty good about Kansas," Wiltjer told Phog.Net. "I went to their elite camp. They already knew who I was but they hadn't really seen me play a lot. I kind of made my name for myself when I went there."
Since then, the two parties have remained in contact and Kansas has offered a scholarship.
"They've kept in contact, they come to open gym," said Wiltjer. "They've also talked to my parents and told them that they have offered me a scholarship."
For now, Wiltjer is most focused on putting together a strong junior season. He'd like to cut his list down to a more manageable number at some point during the summer and hopes to arrive at a decision this time next year. Despite his West coast roots, he says that distance won't play a factor and that's going to be all about fit.
"For me, distance is not big at all," said Wiltjer of making a decision. "I know my parents will probably differ from that. But, location doesn't matter. If it's a good fit and it's on the East coast or far away, then I'll be happy to go there and my parents will support me.