Daniel Orton’s father said on Tuesday that something “drastic” would have to happen for his son not to stick with his commitment to play for Kentucky.
“Daniel is set to go to the University of Kentucky,” Larry Orton said. “Unless something drastic changes, he’ll still (be playing for Kentucky.).”
Orton is no stranger to drastic developments, which may explain his uneasiness after UK fired Billy Gillispie as coach. Since he signed with UK last fall, Orton suffered a major knee injury, which sidelined him for almost all of his senior season. Also during that time his mother died.
The elder Orton dismissed the importance of the spring signing period, which begins on Wednesday.
“That’s nothing,” he said. “That doesn’t mean anything.”
After UK fired Gillispie, Orton asked for a release from Kentucky. So far he’s been willing to wait for that release and re-consider the request. At the Derby Festival, he confirmed that he’s considering Kansas.
The Ortons spoke to new UK Coach John Calipari while in the area for the Derby Festival game. They hope to speak to him again this weekend while in New York for an all-star game.
After the Derby Festival game, in which Daniel Orton had 12 points and 12 rebounds, he said the experience did not alter his view of UK in any significant way.
His father echoed that sentiment on Tuesday.
“Kentucky’s already shown themselves to Daniel,” he said.
Kentucky is expected to add highly-regarded prospect DeMarcus Cousins to its recruiting haul during the spring signing period. He had originally committed to Memphis before following Calipari to UK.
Two other highly regarded prospects who might make the same move remain in limbo. Wing Xavier Henry is not expected to make a decision until after playing in the New York City all-star game, his father said. The family is also waiting a judgment on whether older brother C.J., who is a walk-on at Memphis, can transfer without having to sit out a season.
Point guard prospect John Wall is also playing in New York City. Then he’s expected to visit Miami next week before a decision might be made. Sportswriter Tim Stevens of the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer noted that Wall was adding schools to his list at the spring signing period approached.