Where In The World Has Wiltjer's Shot Gone?

Reported by: Dan Rieffer
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Updated: 12/07/2012 12:42 am
Kentucky's Kyle Wiltjer, a 43% three-point shooter last season, has hit a slump that's now spanned five games.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kyle Wiltjer has shot the ball much more from three-point range this season than he did as a freshman for Kentucky last season. The result has been a significantly lower percentage from beyond the arc.

Wiltjer started the season shooting 63% from three-point range, hitting 12 of 19 in Kentucky's first three games. That percentage has dropped to 15% over the five games that have followed his torrid start.

Wiltjer has hit just 4 of his last 27 three-point attempts.

Last season Wiltjer shot 43% from downtown - 35 of 81 - in UK's 40 games.

But on Wiltjer's current pace, he would end up taking 150 more shots from downtown this season than last - if Kentucky were to play 40 games.

Through eight games, Wiltjer has put it up 46 times from behind the three-point line compared to just 15 through eight games last season.

Based on his numbers from three-point range through UK's eight games this year, his current pace would put Wiltjer at 80 for 230 over a 40-game season.

Fun with numbers aside, Wiltjer's percentage is likely to dip with the significant increase he's made in attempts this season. But clearly, Wiltjer is in a funk right now.

John Calipari's explanation for it following Tuesday night's win over Samford: out of shape. But that was Calipari's answer for every issue his team has following a second half in which his Cats only outscored the Bulldogs by one after building a 31-point first-half lead.

Getting a straight answer or carefully-considered analysis on Wiltjer's woes were not going to come from Calipari on that particular night.

Wiltjer wasn't in the mood to reveal what might be the root of the rim-rattlers either. His answers were brief and centered around working harder in practice.

Maybe a visit from Wiltjer's hometown Portland Pilots to Rupp Arena Saturday will be just the motivation he needs to return to form. Or maybe three days of Camp Cal-style conditioning will do it.
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