VAUGHT: Q&A with Daniel Orton

Daniel Orton, one of the nation's top basketball recruits, is expected to sign with the Wildcats this week. Even though the 6-9 Oklahoma star will be sidelined for most, or maybe all, of this season because of a knee injury, he still gives the Cats a highly-touted recruit to build around, Orton shared his thoughts with KSR about his recruitment, personality and future.

Question: Is there anything that makes you happier than playing basketball and how much did the UK fans' passion for basketball influence your decision about coming to Kentucky?

Orton: "Relaxing and kicking back with my family is what makes me happy. I like to just hang out with family and friends and just love to chill.

"The fans were a big factor in my commitment. Their love and passion for basketball is truly incredible. They played a tremendous factor in my decision and I already love the UK fans. I just hope I can make them proud of me."

Question: When you just want to relax and have some fun, what do you like to do and how often do you get any down time to yourself?

Orton: "What I like to do for fun when I have free time -- I think everyone who knows me well could easily tell you that it is video games. I love to play and I am very addicted. A couple of my favorite games right now I'd have to say would be NCAA Football 09 and NBA Live 09. Those are two really fun games.

"Usually I don't get much free time because of basketball. I end up playing video games on the weekend and just chillin' at home. Now that I'm hurt, I would have to say video games has been a main priority for me here lately."

Question: What excites you the most about joining the Kentucky program and was there any particular player that really helped sell you on the Wildcats? If there was, what did he do?

Orton: "Playing along with a great group of guys really excites me. I have an awesome bunch of guys on my high school team and after I've gotten the chance to know the Kentucky team, I'm ecstatic about being a part of this team.

"Patrick Patterson and I stayed in contact throughout my recruiting and he really helped make my decision easier. There was no key thing that he did. Just the fact that he showed interest was enough. Although ever since I committed, he hasn't stayed in contact with me. I guess he figures his job is done (ha ha)."

Question: Apparently you have quite a sense of humor since I read on Facebook that you posted you were married. Does that just come naturally to you and how do you change when you get on the basketball court?

Orton: "Well, my family is a very comical bunch and I guess I just genetically inherited my humor and, yes, it does come natural. On the court I'm usually focused, but at times will make a joke."

Question: Is there something you wish more people knew about Daniel Orton that they don't?

Orton: That I'm a nice guy. People say that I am very intimidating, which I can see, but I truly am a nice guy. Plus I'm pretty funny, too."

Question: What kind of pressure has there been on you being such a high-profile recruit? Or have you enjoyed all the attention and scrutiny?

Orton: "There's the pressure of anything wrong you do the whole world will know because of the fact that your name is popular and will sell papers, so you'll be on the front page and be the main headline. I really don't feel any other type of pressure to perform or anything like that. If anything, there are just personal judgments I give myself because in my mind, I never play well. I feel that there is always something that I can do better or some area that I wasn't as strong in."

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