Center Daniel Orton of Oklahoma is the jewel in Kentucky's recruiting class and one of the main reasons he picked Kentucky was because of Gillispie. Earlier this week Orton's father, Larry, said if Gillispie was fired, it could impact his son's decision to play at Kentucky. "You just have to wait and make a decision based on what happens now," said Larry Orton less than an hour after Gillispie's firing was announced. Compliance director Sandy Bell called Larry Orton immediately after the press conference. He had been trying to get in touch with UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart for several days.
"She didn't say what I wanted to hear, but it's not the end of the world," Larry Orton said. "We are just going to wait and see what happens. We've not had a chance to talk to any of the (UK) coaches, but we hope to do that, too." Larry Orton said him and his son planned to discuss the situation in detail Saturday after they both had time to gather their thoughts. "This is not something easy to talk about. It's a big shock," Larry Orton said.
He was hesitant to even speculate on who he might like to see Kentucky hire.
"They are not going to hire anybody on my account. I know that," Larry Orton said. One of the coaches who recruited Daniel Orton before he picked Kentucky was Florida's Billy Donovan. He's already rumored to be on the short list of potential coaches at Kentucky just as he was two years ago when Gillispie was hired.
"I could see Daniel playing for him. We do have a good relationship with him. But a coach is not going to take a job on our account," Larry Orton said.
He also noted that ESPN already had a report with Donovan denying any interest in the UK job. "But sometimes when that happens, a guy will be gone in a few weeks. So who knows," Larry Orton said.
No matter who the next coach is, Kentucky does still have one big factor in its favor with the Ortons.
"The fans are the best. They were the best of anywhere we went," Larry Orton said. Another key could be the fate of UK assistant coach Glynn Cyprien, who recruited Daniel Orton. "I hope they keep him on the staff. That's the one guy they should keep if they want to keep all these recruits. He knows what he's doing. I hope they do at least keep Cyp," Larry Orton said.