Daniel Orton: Ready for Business - PART TWO

Kentucky Sports Report's Larry Vaught takes you behind the scenes with Daniel Orton, one of the Wildcats' most prized recruits in this five part series.

"I am 6-8 myself and I grew 14 inches in a year when I was 13 going on 14," Larry Orton, a former college basketball player, said. "He has size and athletic ability in his genes. My wife has a brother who is 6-10 (Tony Farmer) who played at Nebraska and then in the NBA. Her dad was also a real good athlete and was 6-5 himself. His brother played at Oklahoma State.

"He kept his coordination, or maybe even got better, when he grew so fast. He was kind of chubby before he grew, but those early struggles made him a better overall player after he grew that much. Daniel always want to run. He never wanted to walk. He was always in a hurry to do things, which is a good trait. But he used to scare me his freshman year because I always thought he was going to run into a wall when he would get to going that fast."

Orton's work ethic sounds almost too good to be true.

"He does work harder now than I have ever seen. He was more of a late bloomer. Defensively, everybody knew he was good. A lot don't know how good he can be offensively. He played with really good players in AAU and became the post guy who defends and scores here and there," said Andy Fisher, his high school assistant coach.

"He has developed more and more and we put out on the wing now. He can put the ball on the floor and lead the fast break. He works very hard on his shooting. He will be in gym all the time if we allow it. He would play 300 to 500 games in the summer, so we would have to tell him to go home and get his rest. But if he had not got hurt this year, he was going to show nationally that he could block shots, rebound and showcase all his offensive skills. Plus, he had games last year where he had 33 or 35 points. He can score. It's just a matter of making sure he gets his touches."

Orton's desire to improve should fit nicely into Kentucky coach John Calipari's philosophy. "We went on recruiting trip and my wife and I are there with him. He calls me Andy. He said, 'Andy, let's go to the gym,' on the first night of the recruiting trip. We were there from about 11 (p.m.) to 12:30 or 1 a.m. Just, him, me and my wife, who he has a good relationship with," Fisher said. "The coach told me it was the first time he had had a recruit work out and not want to go out and see the town.


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