TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Sports Editorials

June 25, 2010

Daniel Orton just doesn’t understand

CORBIN — Some people say once a Wildcat always a Wildcat, but I don’t agree. Or at least I believe there is a thin line between being a Kentucky Wildcat and just wearing the jersey.

The Big Blue Nation is quick to fall in love with players like John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, but once in a while we find ourselves trying to erase the memory of certain players like Rashaad (I refuse to shoot) Carruth.

Now we can include Daniel Orton in the wish-he-never-was a Wildcat group.

In case you missed it, Kentucky had a little issue with poor grades. By the end of the semester, Wall stepped up and carried the young group of one-and-doners and pulled his grades up to help the entire team.

Out of the five players who decided to leave Kentucky early for the NBA, Patrick Patterson graduated in three years, while Wall, Cousins and Eric Bledsoe managed to complete the rest of the school year in order to keep the Cats out of academic probation. Orton said he would finish classes on time, but soon dropped out of school.

For those who were able to completely disregard him putting Kentucky in risk of losing scholarships, here is a new little gem for you.

This was reported by Yahoo Sports a couple of days back: Orton played one season at Kentucky, where he averaged just 13 minutes and 3.4 points behind DeMarcus Cousins. He left on relatively poor terms with coach John Calipari, and even told front offices in the pre-draft process that he wished he had chosen Kansas over Kentucky. Despite the belief he would be represented by agent Raymond Brothers, Orton hasn’t used him. He’s gone without an agent, using his family and former NBA coach Bob Hill to guide him through the process. That’s been a disastrous choice for him.

That’s right Cat fans, he wishes he never wore a Kentucky jersey. That might not bother some Big Blue fans, but I doubt we will see pictures of him hanging in local restaurants. Maybe he wishes he would have played for Kansas so he could have got out of school earlier, who knows.

Anyway, all I know is that several Kentucky kids have to face the harsh realization every year that they will not be able to live out their dream and play for Kentucky. So it saddens me to hear of a talented young man that just lived thousands of kids’ dreams, while having them look up to him and admire him, to only shrug it off like it was a mistake.

The truth is, he could have gone somewhere else and got plenty of playing time, which in turn would have only exposed his weaknesses and cost him the only thing he appears to care about — money.

So whoever drafts Orton better watch out because you might not know what you are getting yourself into.

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