Kentucky roster in a state of flux, part III

In less than two weeks Kentucky's future rosters have turned upside down. In the third part of a multi-part series we'll look at who may be joining DeMarcus Cousins, John Calipari's first Kentucky commitment, on Kentucky's 2009-2010 roster.

Late Tuesday night word came that DeMarcus Cousins had made a decision on his college destination, and would be following Calipari to Kentucky.

It was following the commitment news that it was first reported that Daniel Orton was seeking a release from his NLI; but this appears to not be the case.

Larry Orton, Daniel's father, spoke to KSR's Larry Vaught about a report filed by Scout's Evan Daniel. The elder Orton was quite adamant about where the father and his son currently stand with Kentucky and its new coach, John Calipari.

"Daniel has not asked for his release. If it comes to that, I will be the one asking," Larry Orton said. "There's no need to ask for a release until we decide if we need one."

The Ortons plan to meet with Calipari when Daniel is in Kentucky to play in the Derby Festival Classic this weekend. At this time the Ortons want to learn more about Calipari's plans for Daniel Orton, and how he plans on using both Orton and Cousins before making any decisions.

I sense that the Ortons would prefer Daniel stay at Kentucky, but want some assurances that Daniel and DeMarcus Cousins will be used together in the frontcourt.

Xavier Henry was granted a release from Memphis soon after Calipari took the Kentucky job; however Kentucky is not looking as much like the potential destination as many had hoped when he ws granted the release. This one is looking more and more like a Memphis-Kansas battle, just as it was in the fall.

Soon after Josh Pastner was named as the new coach at Memphis word leaked out that Carl Henry, father of C.J. Henry and Xavier Henry, would be joining Pastner's staff as the Director of Basketball Operations. This rumor hasn't turned into reality, and Kansas appears to be the favorite.

A kid looking more and more like he could be a Wildcat is 6-5 wing guard Nolan Dennis. Dennis inked an NLI with Memphis, and has now the Richland Hills (TX) prospect has asked for a release.

Scout's Evan Daniels spoke to Carol Dennis about her son's recruitment.

Carol Dennis gave Daniels her take on this situation.

"We just want people to know that we are not going to attend Memphis because we were going to attend Memphis because of Calipari," Carol Dennis said. "So we are going to wait and see what we are going to do from here."

"We have had different offers," she continued. "But I think Nolan wants to go to Kentucky, but I'm not for sure, but I know he's not going to go to Memphis. That is a definite."

Dennis is expected to make an official visit to Kentucky this weekend at the conclusion of the Derby Festival Classic. Speculation has it that Dennis could commit to Kentucky by the end of the day Monday.

The recruitment of John Wall keeps getting deeper. Wall recently met with Mike Krzyzewski, and has fielded calls from Roy Williams and Billy Donovan as Duke, North Carolina and Florida seek to get in the Wall recruiting derby late for the nation's top point guard. The trio joins Kentucky, Memphis, Kansas, Baylor, North Carolina State and Miami in seeking Wall's services. Word is beginning to leak out that Wall may choose Kentucky within the next week, with Calipari being the primary reason for the choice.

6-0 Eric Bledsoe, of Parker HS in Birmingham, AL, appears to be the backup plan for Wall at the point. Kentucky is in the final four for Bledsoe, according to a report by the Courier Journal's Jody Demling. Reports indicate that Kentucky trails Florida, but could easily make up ground if Bledsoe becomes an immediate need, should Wall choose to go elsewhere. Bledsoe is also expected to visit campus this weekend.

Another name rising to the surface is 6-6 small forward Solomon Hill, of famed Fairfax HS in Los Angeles, CA. Hill had given a verbal commitment to USC, but is reported to be waivering, and is interested in playing in playing for Calipari at Kentucky. Hill is also willing to listen to new Arizona coach Sean Miller's overtures.

Kentucky Coach John Calipari and his staff were in Portland at the Hoops Summit, where Wall, Cousins and Henry had their games on display.

Kentucky fans should find the Jordan Brand game most interesting this spring. Scheduled to play in the National Game for the Black team are Daniel Orton, Xavier Henry and John Wall; DeMarcus Cousins is scheduled to play on the White team.

At this time the recruiting class consists of Orton, Cousins and Jon Hood, a nice haul; which could get even better if any of the aforementioned players join them in Lexington.

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