…The Kentucky basketball roster is shrinking by the second.
As many expected, Daniel Orton has declared for the NBA draft without hiring an agent, so he would have the option to return to UK should he not like what he hears. Talk to his father, though, and you’d be hard pressed to imagine Daniel being a Wildcat next Fall.
Larry Vaught of the Advocate Messenger interviewed Larry Orton, who had this to say:
“Daniel is going into the draft,” his father, Larry Orton, said Wednesday. ”He’s going into training. He’s going to drop his classes just in case he needs to come back (to UK), but the plan is for him to be in the draft.”
Someone should tell Larry that dropping courses this late in the semester is called “dropping out”. He continued:
“He has a lot of stuff people have not seen. If he had played more, he would have made DeMarcus look bad. I am not saying that because he is my son. It s just that I know what he can do. He’s very smart and very skilled.”
I’m pretty sure that Shaq wouldn’t make DeMarcus Cousins look bad, Larry. Put down the crack pipe.
To recap, not only is Daniel Orton leaving UK after averaging a staggering 3.4 points per game, but he’s also going to drop out of school and move to California to train for the draft. John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Patrick Patterson can finish out their semesters, but Daniel is apparently too busy for that. Hello, scholarship reductions.
But wait… There’s more…
Kentucky Sports Radio is reporting that Darnell Dodson will also be entering the draft. Here’s what they had to say:
The second tidbit told to me was that Darnell Dodson would not be on the team next season. I looked into this for some time and cant get total confirmation, but all signs seemed to point to this being accurate. Then tonight, DraftExpress.com said that Demarcus Cousins told people in Columbus that Dodson was going to the NBA as well and that only four returning players would be on the UK roster.
It’s just laughable at this point. Between graduation and the draft, UK will likely lose Wall, Cousins, Patterson, Bledsoe, Orton, Dodson, Stevenson, Krebs, and Harris. That’s nine players from a 13 player roster. That leaves Josh Harrelson, Darius Miller, John Hood and DeAndre Liggins as the only returning scholarship players with Stacey Poole and Enes Kanter as incoming freshmen.
Obviously, it’s not all gloom and doom for UK fans, as the Cats will likely sign as many as six more players. These signings should include #1 overall recruit Brandon Knight, as well as some combination of high school stars C.J. Leslie, Terrance Jones, Terrance Ross, Doron Lamb, Luke Cothron and Josh Selby. Based on Calipari’s track record, you’d have to think he signs at least 3 from that group.
Even in a best case scenario, though, the Cats will be looking at another year of a group of very talented but very young players holding the key to their season. This much turnover every year is not going to be sustainable moving forward.
Regardless, it’s going to be a Soap Opera Spring in Big Blue country.