Orton Goes Camping; Claims Favorite

Scout.com caught up with Daniel Orton, who is Scout.com's 3rd ranked center, to discuss his recent camp experiences and his recruitment.

June is usually a month for prospects to rest up and spend time with their high school teams at home, but not Daniel Orton. The 6-foot-9, 260-pound big man has been traveling from event to event and in the process is trying to recover from a minor injury.

From Wednesday through Satuday of this past week, Orton spent time in Charlottesville (Va.) for the NBA Players Association camp. Despite sitting out some of the skill development sessions, Orton gave it a go during the games.

"I just wanted to play," Orton said. "I have a grade two sprain and I wasn't supposed to play, but everybody was saying that the McDonald's scouts were over there, so I had to play."

Then on Saturday, Orton traveled to Phoenix (Ariz.) for the Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy, where he took on some of the nations best post prospects.

"There's a bunch of top players here and everybody's just battling," Orton said. "We actually just finished today. The guys from NBA camp were really only out here for a day and a half."

"[I played] pretty well," he said. "There was a bunch of good guys [at Amare]. I can definitely say that I held my own up here."

Despite all of the traveling, Orton has also managed to spend some time thinking about recruiting. He's developed a top seven of UCLA, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Ohio State and Kentucky.

When asked if anyone was sticking out he responded, "Probably just Kentucky."

So how'd the Wildcats move to the top of his list? According to Orton, their coaching staff, as well as their fans, made an impression on him during a recent trip to Lexington (Ky.) for their elite camp.

"It was a last second decision and I wasn't going to go, but I had a friend go out there and the assistant coach from my high school went out there," he said. "They told me I needed to go out there and see the facilities and stuff. It was a last minute decision."

"I flew out and my flight was actually delayed like three hours, so I got there at 3:30 in the morning and the next morning people were on the internet saying I was there and that they saw me come in. There were people downstairs waiting at 7 o'clock [in the morning] and I didn't come downstairs until 10 o'clock. So [the fans] were downstairs waiting for three hours. That showed me a lot."

While on campus, Orton toured the facilities and got a chance to sit down with Billy Gillispie.

"I think he's a really nice guy," Orton said. "He brought me away and talked to me and he tried to learn about me, we didn't just talk about the basketball aspect of it."

Orton said his goal is to have his list down to five by the end of the summer and then begin taking official visits. He said he hopes to have his decision made by the fall signing period.

Until then, Orton will continue his traveling ways, as he'll participate in the LeBron James Skills Academy in early July, which will be followed by a trip to Nike's Peach Jam.

Scout Hoops Top Stories