View Full Version : The case for and against Naismith Award candidates - Wiltjer

10-21-2015, 02:46 PM
From NCAA.com (http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2015-10-20/college-basketball-case-and-against-naismith-award-candidates):

A clear-cut choice that checks all the boxes doesnít exist in 2015-16, which makes the Naismith Award discussion all the more fascinating. There are outstanding players that play for middling teams, pretty good players that play for elite teams and freshmen that we donít know enough about yet to declare them better than the rest of the crop. In other words, itís a wide open race.

There are, however, a few guys that will almost undoubtedly be in the Naismith discussion once 2015-16 comes to a close. Here are cases for and against four players that have a chance to bring home some hardware this season.
The player: F/C Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga


The pros: Wiltjer has two things going for him: Gonzaga figures to be a legitimate Final Four candidate this season, and the guy is a one-man wrecking crew on offense.

An offensive efficiency darling, Wiltjer averaged 24.3 points per 40 minutes last season on 54 percent shooting. He knocked down 46.6 percent of his 3-pointers, which is unheard of for a 6í10Ē forward/center. The Bulldogs have averaged 32 wins per season in the last three years, and though they lost standout point guard Kevin Pangos, Mark Fewís squad still has plenty of ammo to make a title run in 2016.

The cons: Defense. Thatís really the only knock on Wiltjerís Naismith hopes, as he lacks the elite impact on that side of the floor guys like Dunn and Simmons have. Heís decent enough defensively, but far from spectacular.

Wiltjer registered a defensive rating of 94.3 in 2014-15, which was fourth among Bulldog regulars. He blocked just one shot per game. Wiltjerís a solid team defender, but the offensive whiz isnít intimidating foes on both sides of the court like some of his competitors are.

10-21-2015, 03:39 PM
Nice find, Native. Thanks.

10-21-2015, 03:57 PM
We get to the FF and Kyle manages 20 ppg with 8 rpg, he'll take this award home to Zagland. Defense criticisms don't seem to matter much these days except for purists who have to make a case for something negative. Kyle's defense is "wanting" so far but he must know that. I'd look for him to improve his defense but not a defensive all star. SO?

10-21-2015, 04:29 PM
I think Kyle is an underrated defender just like Pangos was last year. He may not have the stats, i.e. block shots, steals, to show how good he is but he isn't giving up a ton of points. I'm not saying he's a great defender but I'd say he's above average.

10-21-2015, 04:41 PM
i think Kyle has a good shot at POY.

He is outstanding on the offensive end.
He is a good passer.
He is an improved rebounder. i would say slightly better than average.
He is a below average defensively IMHO. I don't think its from lack of effort. its just not a skill he processes.

I'm sure he's been working on his lateral quickness in the off season. You have to assume the pro teams let him know what he needed to get better at to improve his NBA draft stock. I expect he will be better than last year.

10-21-2015, 04:55 PM
The last interview I heard with him is that he has been working on his individual D this summer. Not looking for huge gains but nice to know hes working on a known deficiency. The thing is, there are guys that will average 20 and 8 and be talked about positively on both ends of the floor. I agree that with good team D its not an issue but thats team, this is an individual award.