Remember when Daniel Orton and John Calipari got into it a little bit during the SEC Tournament game? It seemed relatively minor and was quickly dismissed after the fact, but based on information that has come out this week, it’s looking like it may have been slightly more significant that we thought.
Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted today on the subject, saying “Kentucky frosh Daniel Orton doesn’t love playing for Calipari and Cal doesn’t love coaching him, sources say. Expect him to stay in draft.” Quotes from Daniel Orton’s father about how Orton would have made DeMarcus Cousins “look bad” if he had been more of an opportunity suggest the same.
Also, John Calipari was quoted at length by Andy Katz in an article today that produced a lot of interesting information:
-Katz says that UK will have a big 2010 class…not exactly breaking news.
-Cal has met with five players (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe, and Daniel Orton) and encouraged them to enter their names in the NBA Draft
-Cal encouraged Patterson, Bledsoe, and Orton to keep their options for returning to school open: “You don’t know where this is going,” Calipari said. “Eventually you’re going to be a professional. It may not be this year or next year. I told them they have to keep doing their academic work so that if it doesn’t play out they’re still fine.”
-Cal says that Patterson is in lottery range, while Bledsoe and Orton are in the 15-25 range.
-Cal has heard the rumors of Darnell Dodson’s departure, but has yet to speak with him: “I don’t believe it,” Calipari said. “I think he’ll be fine. There are rumors because it’s Kentucky. We’re like Darth Vader at Kentucky. I just don’t buy into them. We’ll have a good team next year with talented young players and go from there.”
Also, if you haven’t yet watched Calipari’s video message about this past season, I recommend you check it out below:
Cal’s words about how there were a lot of things that went on this season that will not happen in the future suggest that there was a lot of stuff that went on behind the scenes this season that we weren’t completely aware of, which is a credit to Calipari’s PR skills and the discretion of the players.
Another Wojnarowski tweet goes along those lines: “NBA execs and agents say Calipari battled infighting among parents of upperclassmen and underclassmen over playing time, publicity, etc.”
This is what Cal is talking about when he says “CYO” (as in Catholic Youth Organization, when parents are all over the coach about how their children are being handled). I think it’s safe to say that UK’s Three Amigos (Wall, Bledsoe, and Cousins) along with Patrick Patterson, were a very tight knit group and happy most of the year. However, many of the concerns we had early in the year about new players meshing with veterans may have reared their heads in the form of griping about PT by parents.
Again, it’s pretty phenomenal that Cal was able to keep this quiet. I guess ‘Cats fans are a lot less curious about things when the team is 35-3. It’s no wonder that Calipari was so worn down by the time it was all over. As UK fans, we love giving our teams nicknames…maybe we should go with “Quiet Storm” for this past year’s squad.
One more quick note from Yahoo before I sign off for the evening. A Marc Spears post has a section about how DeMarcus Cousins’ draft stock may be improving, suggesting that Cousins could even be a dark horse #1 overall pick. It included quotes from a GM who said he would “seriously consider” Cousins at the top spot:
“It all depends on who’s picking,” the GM said. “He’s talented enough to be the No. 1 pick. I’m sure the team that does pick No. 1 will spend time to cover their bases. It all depends on how the lottery falls. Wall, Turner, Cousins? To me, there is no consensus guy. You’ll learn a lot about an organization by how they draft. Last year, it was easy. At No. 2, it got murky. Now, it’s murky at the top.”
After a long season of hearing about how John Wall was a lock at the top spot, then seeing Evan Turner make a late push, how crazy would it be if Wall’s teammate came up from the outside and was taken first?