Orton Rounding Into Shape

When you're as big as Daniel Orton is, you're body is going to feel the effects of lugging around 260 pounds or so on a six-foot-ten inch frame. Making things even tougher for a while, was the fact that the rising senior from Oklahoma City (OK) Bishop McGuiness was still fighting off the remains of a knee injury suffered during his junior season.

Over the weekend, Daniel Orton looked to be back into shape as he helped lead his Athlete’s First squad to a title at the prestigious Nike’s Bobby Hussey Memorial Day Classic in Nashville, TN.

“I’m just getting back into normal shape really,” said Orton. “My knee is feeling a lot better. I’ve been working out constantly for this whole week, so that’s helping too.”

An intimidating presence who is more often than not the biggest player on the floor, Orton wants to be known as more than just a big guy. He’s got great hands, soft touch to 17 feet on jumpers and he’s also a dominant shot blocker and defensive rebounder. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t areas of his game that he isn’t still working on, though.

“Rebounding, offensive rebounding,” Orton said of what he’s been working on the most. “My offensive rebounding is getting better, my shooting is developing and my ball handling is getting better. It’s getting better, but I can get it better than that. I really feel like I’m improving on everything right now.”

In the past, Orton has thrown out names like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State, Florida and several others when asked for a school list. These days, he’s playing things much closer to his vest and politely declined to list schools or comment on any program in particular when asked to do so.

He’d like to see who is watching him during the summer and knows that he needs to develop a “list”, but it’s something that he says he’s really not too concerned about right now.

“I want to see who is watching me, but I’m not really worried about it right now,” Orton told Phog.Net. “I know I’ve got to cut it down soon, so I’m just starting to think about it a little bit more lately.”

Part of the reason that he’s in no hurry is that Orton says he’s still planning on waiting until next Spring to pick a college destination. For now, he’s just going to play the summer out, see who is watching and then start to cut things down.

“After July, I think I’ll cut it down to 15. If not 15, maybe 10 and I’ll probably sign in the Spring,” said Orton. “You could just say that I’m wide open right now.

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