A productive Kyle Wiltjer is necessary for Kentucky to succeed

Kyle Wiltjer - photo by Walter Cornett | WildcatWorld.com
Kyle Wiltjer – photo by Walter Cornett | WildcatWorld.com

It wasn’t supposed to be this hard. Youth and inexperience weren’t supposed to matter to John Calipari, to Kentucky. After all, there was still a lot of talent in Lexington, and it felt quite natural when nobody doubted the defending national champions in the preseason. But the two and a half months since have created a college basketball specimen that has been as rare in recent years as a senior superstar – the skeptic. Their arrival is understandable, as Kentucky has already dropped five games here in 2012-13, the talented youngsters having yet to find the cohesiveness of ’s past Calipari teams. There’s still plenty of time to get there, and all four of the key freshmen (Archie Goodwin, Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress, and Willie Cauley-Stein) will surely need to display growth for the wins to roll in, but the player who serves as the finest barometer for UK success is not a newcomer. has been about as consistent as his team this season (i.e., not very), and his off nights have frequently coincided with failures. But when Wiltjer has it going like he did Tuesday night against Tennessee, the Cats looked a lot closer to being a complete team.

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