NCAA BK

Wiltjer commits to play at Kentucky

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Josh Herwitt

Josh Herwitt is an Editorial Manager for FOX Sports 1 and a former College Basketball Editor for FOXSports.com and CSTV.com. He has also written for Sporting News and Sports Illustrated, and worked as a sports reporter for two newspapers.

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LOS ANGELES

John Calipari’s next recruiting class just got a little bit stronger.

The Kentucky coach locked up his fourth Top 20 prospect in the Class of 2011 Saturday when Scout.com’s No. 19 recruit Kyle Wiltjer announced that he was committing to the Wildcats during halftime of the Elite 24 All-Star game at Venice Beach.

“I felt I was ready, and it was a good basketball fit,” Wiltjer told FOXSports.com after tallying 20 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals to help his East squad hold off the West team for a 127-126 victory.

“They have a great recruiting class coming in. I really wanted to surround myself with the best players in the country, so I can push myself every day in practice. Calipari has done a great job in the past, and my time was ready.”

The 6-foot-9 Oregon native, who averaged 16.5 points per game as a junior for Jesuit, had narrowed his college choices down to Gonzaga, Texas, Wake Forest and Cal before eventually picking Kentucky without an official campus visit.

“They were always in the mix,” Wiltjer said of his other college choices. “But I wanted to lock my spot up at Kentucky, and I’m confident in my decision.”

Calipari has already received commitments from three of the top six players for the 2011-12 campaign, including Anthony Davis (No. 1), Michael Gilchrist (No. 5) and Marquis Teague (No. 6), and there could be more headed to Lexington with three other uncommitted Top 10 recruits — Quincy Miller (No. 2), Austin Rivers (No. 3) and Adonis Thomas (No. 8) — listing Kentucky as one of their schools of interest.

For Wiltjer, playing in Calipari's dribble-drive motion offense was certainly a factor in making his decision.

“I’m a very versatile player,” the fifth-ranked power forward for 2011 added. “I can play on the wing or in the post, and their system is a very good fit because they have so many dribble penetrators that it will open me up.

“I want to be part of something special, and I think we can be a very competitive group.”

Tagged: North Carolina-Wilmington

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