Kentucky F Wiltjer leaves program

University of Kentucky forward Kyle Wiltjer will not return to the Wildcats for the 2013-14 basketball season.

The 6-foot-10, 239-pound rising junior announced his surprising decision on Monday in an open letter on the school's athletics web site.

Wiltjer enjoyed a productive two-year career with the Wildcats and earned the Southeastern Conference's Sixth Man of the Year award this past season. He averaged 10.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game last season.

"Heading into college, my dream was to win a National Championship and compete with and play against the best players in the country," Wiltjer said in the letter. "Without a doubt, I accomplished both of these goals in my two years at Kentucky. Now as I head into my junior year, I recognize that my new and adjusted goals require me to make some very difficult upcoming decisions.

"During this next year, I will be working on my body so that I am able to compete the way I know I can. 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."

Kentucky head coach John Calipari took to his personal web site and said, "We all need to understand that he's leaving on his own terms. We all want him back, but it's not what we want; it's what he wants, and that's OK. It hasn't happened very often in my career, but transfers are a part of our game."