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Kyle Wiltjer exploring options as he considers transfer from Kentucky

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Forward Kyle Wiltjer appears to be on the verge of leaving Kentucky.

Wiltjer, a former Oregon prep star who has spent two years with the Wildcats, played 24 minutes a game last season and averaged 10 points and four rebounds earning the Sixth Man of the Year award in the SEC.

Ordinarily, a player with that history would be expected to move into an even more prominent role as a junior and senior, but with a stellar recruiting class in place, Wiltjer faces the reality that his playing time will probably decrease. That has led him to consider transferring this summer.

Coach John Calipari addressed the topic of Wiltjer transferring with a post on his website "Best of Luck to Kyle Wiltjer" that seemed to indicate the decision has already been made. Calipari wrote the update after talking with Wiltjer, who recently completed training with the Canadian National Team.

"Kyle’s choice to explore options at another school disappoints me, but it’s his decision at the end of the day, and I fully support his decision," Calipari wrote. "I would love for him to go through this process and return to us, but I will support him and help him in any way I can. He’s a terrific young man, a great student, a tremendous basketball player and an excellent teammate. If he does choose to go somewhere else, that school will be very lucky."

Wiltjer issued a letter to Kentucky fans that was published on school's official athletics website. While he didn't officially announce he is transferring, he seemed to indicate he doesn't plan on playing next season. He would have to sit out a year under NCAA rules if he decides to transfer.

"During this next year, I will be working on my body so that I am able to compete the way I know I can," Wiltjer wrote. "I want to find a situation that will help me do this as well as play a more significant role, wherever that may be. Even though I might physically leave Lexington, I will never forget the support and kindness that everyone has shown my family and me."

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