Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga Bulldogs
Right now, Wiltjer might be the closest thing to a McDermott clone in college basketball. Wiltjer plays a similar position to McDermott and has a much similar offensive game. The last fans saw of Wiltjer was during Kentucky’s NIT loss at Robert Morris. Although the Wildcats weren’t that great, they were stacked with talent and playing time was sparse.
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Wiltjer decided to take his talents back home, or close to it at least. He transferred to Gonzaga and sat out all last season, which was used as his redshirt season. Wiltjer still has two years eligibility left.
At this point, it’s a little early to know how Wiltjer will fit into the Zags’ offense. Wiltjer does have all the physical tools to replicate McDermott’s production with Creighton. Wiltjer’s 6’10” frame makes him a weapon in the post and is very underrated in the low post, like McDermott. In his last season at Kentucky, Wiltjer’s rebounding numbers were also similar to McDermott at 7.0 rebounds per game.
The easiest comparison to make between Wiltjer and McDermott is obviously their shooting ability. Both boast pure strokes and can hit from anywhere on the court. Wiltjer’s three-point percentage dipped below 40 percent. McDermott shot better than 40 percent from three in all four years at Creighton. I anticipate, after a year off and in a much better situation, Wiltjer’s percentages and all-around game to be much better than it was at Kentucky.
Wiltjer will have two seasons to grow as a player and make a run at the NBA. Right now, he has all the tools to make himself the next Dougie Fresh.