UK's supporting characters pass up stardom for a title
Kyle Wiltjer, Eloy Vargas and Twany Beckham all passed up playing time at lesser schools for the chance to win a national championship. It paid off on Monday.
NEW ORLEANS – Kyle Wiltjer was a five-star recruit coming out of high school. He could have gone anywhere in the country and played 30 minutes a night.
Eloy Vargas was a 6-foot-11 top-50 prospect that originally went to Florida. After leaving the Gators and attending junior college, there’s little doubt Vargas could have made an impact on a lower level.
Similarly, Twany Beckham was a rotation player at Mississippi State, playing almost 16 minutes per game. He could have transferred to a lesser conference and averaged double-digits.
“I could have gone anywhere and played 25 minutes,” Vargas said.
Only Wiltjer played more than 10 minutes per game this season, with Vargas providing spot minutes inside and Beckham coming off the bench for a total of 44 minutes.
Their decisions to pass up starring roles to win a national championship paid off on Monday night, even though the trio played six minutes combined.
“We set this goal at the beginning of the season,” Beckham said.
“We wanted to do something special,” Wiltjer added.
None of the three care that they didn’t get playing time or a lot of shots off the bench; ending the season with a title was more than enough.
Said Vargas: “I made the right decision. Being a national champion is great.”
The Wildcats were No. 2 two days ago, but a two-game losing streak keeps them out of our r...
No. 2 Arizona and No. 18 Purdue are each 0-2 in the Battle 4 Atlantis, and they'll play each...
It's rare to see two incredibly gifted big men going head to head this early in a college hoops...
The Wildcats are no longer undefeated after losing to NC State
Brey's team overcame a 16-point deficit to top Wichita State in the Maui finale
No. 13 Irish led for only 22 seconds, but a pair of clutch free throws lifted them to a Maui...