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Blackshear and Wiltjer Listed As Potential Breakout Players
June 21, 2012By Jon Hancock of KentuckySports.co
Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com released a list of the 10 potential breakout players for 2012-13. Louisville's Wayne Blackshear and Kentucky's Kyle Wiltjer both made the list, for the complete list go HERE.
Wayne Blackshear, Louisville: Blackshear arrived at Louisville as a highly touted recruit, but was rarely heard from during his freshman season. His first year at school was derailed by injuries, though, as opposed to a lack of playing time. But Blackshear returned in time to make a major impact in the Cardinals' Final Four swing at the inimitable Kentucky Wildcats. UK prevailed, but the Chicago native was excellent in his 14 minutes on the floor. With injuries behind him, playing alongside defender-drawing forward Chane Behanan, the shooting guard will have ample opportunity to show his quality.
Kyle Wiltjer, Kentucky:I'm not sure it's possible, in 2012, to be a Kentucky Wildcat and also be under the radar. But if it is possible, Wiltjer fits the bill. The lanky forward was the seventh man in UK's championship rotation last season, and he made timely contributions throughout the season. But as the Cats marched to the national title, and Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and super-sub Darius Miller and the rest of the top six garnered 100 percent of the attention, Wiltjer largely became an afterthought. Don't make the same mistake in 2012-13. Kentucky will be loaded again, no doubt, but Wiltjer -- a former top-20 prospect in the class of 2011, lest we forget -- will play starter's minutes, and should emerge as much more than a stretch forward with a sweet jump shot. If he combines a low-post game with that spot shooting, Wiltjer could morph into one of the nation's most complete scoring threats -- a Doug McDermott lookalike with national title talent at his side.