Pacific Northwest schools line up to pursue likely transfer Kyle Wiltjer

If Kyle Wiltjer ultimately decides to leave Kentucky, it appears the former McDonald's All-American may end up at a school closer to his Oregon roots.

Among the schools that have shown interest in Wiltjer since Monday's announcement that he's considering a transfer are Pacific Northwest powers Gonzaga, Oregon, Oregon State and Portland, reported. Stanford and Texas also reportedly intend to reach out to the 6-foot-9 forward, who would likely sit out next season and have two years of eligibility remaining at his new school.

It's easy to understand why Wiltjer would be coveted by so many top schools even if his role at Kentucky would likely be minor were he to reverse course and return. Though the arrival of an ultra-talented recruiting class probably would relegate Wiltjer to a bit role off the bench in Lexington, his size, versatility and outside shooting make him a potential impact player at any of his other possible future schools.

Wiltjer arrived at Kentucky as's No. 22 recruit in 2011, a sweet-shooting forward coveted by the likes of Kansas, Gonzaga and Texas. A lack of strength and lateral quickness sometimes made him a defensive liability either in the post or the perimeter, but he still contributed as a seventh man on Kentucky's national title team in 2012 and scored 10.2 points per game as a part-time starter in 2013.

The schools that would have the most obvious sales pitches to Wiltjer would probably be Gonzaga and Oregon, both programs that aren't far from his Portland home.

The Gonzaga staff recruited Wiltjer out of high school and can point to the success fellow Canadian forward Kelly Olynyk had this past season after taking a redshirt year to help him get stronger and develop an interior game. Oregon has enjoyed success with transfers under coach Dana Altman and would have ample available playing time at forward for the 2014-15 season with Mike Moser set to graduate.

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