As he promised, Larry Orton just called me to tell he Daniel was "100 percent" to Kentucky. It's over. He's coming.
"All along the coaching switch was something we just didn't know about," Larry Orton said. "We got to talk to coach Calipari again and it all went well. He told Daniel how much he needed him and I think Daniel appreciated that. All along we just wanted to make sure this was still right for him and he said today he was certain it was right for him."
Daniel Orton, who is rated the nation's No. 3 center, had a tumultuous senior season. He needed preseason knee surgery and missed all but the final three games of the year. His mother passed away in January. Then Gillispie was fired.
However, Kentucky fans were the one constant for Daniel Orton.
"I just think the Kentucky fans are what really convinced Daniel this is right for him," his father said. "That was a large part of what he based his original decision on.
"He believes he will work hard enough to play anywhere. He's not looking at being a one-and-done or two-and-done player. He's about winning a national championship for Kentucky. That's his focus. Not the NBA."
Despite reports that Xavier and C.J. Henry will not visit Kentucky, the latest news is that the brothers will trip there this coming weekend.
"Now they're going to visit Kentucky at the end of this week," Carl Henry said early Monday afternoon. "My youngest son [Xavier] called me and said he wanted to go visit. It just happened thirty minutes ago."
Carl had initially told reporters the boys would not visit and would announce Wednesday between Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis. Now that decision — and potentially Lance Stephenson's as well — will be put off.
FROM EVAN DANIEL's RECRUITING TRAIL
Whew! The road is starting to wear me down. Just got back from Pittsburgh. The event didn't have nearly the amount of high major prospects that Boo Williams had last weekend. There were a pair of big Kentucky targets there.
Among the top prospects there was Kyrie Irving, a product of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick. He's a 6-foot-1 lead guard that is climbing the ranks of the point guard position. He was dominant off the dribble in nearly every game his New Jersey Roadrunners played. He's got great speed, incredible touch on his passes and has become a very consistent shooter from long range. Irving has 10 schools on his list -- Indiana, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Duke, Seton Hall, Florida, Marquette, Maryland and Georgia Tech.
Michael Gilchrist was probably the top overall prospect at the Pitt Jam Fest, and is looking good for the No. 1 spot in the 2011 class. The kid, who is actually young for his grade (which you rarely see), can do so many things on the basketball court. First off he's a winner. He's very competitive and seems to play at his best when the game is on the line. At 6-foot-7, he got a long, lean frame, but is still able to take contact and score inside. Love his overall versatility!
When he was a star at Lexington Catholic, Winston Guy never really watched any film except for a scouting report on an upcoming opponent.
He never worried about studying film of himself to critique his strengths and weaknesses in hopes of becoming a better player.
That has changed at Kentucky.
"I am working hard in the film room to learn things I need to know to get ready for a big season," said Guy, a sophomore safety. "I like the whole system here where we can come in and watch film anytime that we want. I come in on my own all I can when I don't have class. "When everybody else is in the film room, I try to make sure I am responsible for getting my work done, too. I watch myself and the mistakes I make and things I can do to make it better."