Basketball Recruiting at Kansas: Wall, Orton & Robinson

September 19, 2008

Two ACC basketball recruiting targets will be visiting Kansas this weekend, including John Wall (PG,6’4″,2009), a player who we’ve written quite a bit about and Thomas Robinson (PF, 6’8″, 2009), a player who still lists Miami as an option, although he seems to be leaning toward Kansas, Memphis or USC since those are the only schools he’s set up visits with at this point.

Daniel Orton (C, 6’9″, 2009) has been out of the ACC mix for some time, with a lot of rumors pointing him towards Kentucky, including a rumor that he and Wall would both up in Wildcat blue. Hard to say if that would actually happen, but both of them visiting Kansas almost makes it seem like they are looking at playing together. If a team – Kansas OR Kentucky – were to have a Wall-to-Orton passing combo, it would be a great pairing, only lacking outside shooting.

Duke Basketball, Jamil Wilson and the saga of Daniel Orton

June 27, 2008

Jamil Wilson (SF,6’6″,2009) can play. He’s one of the best power forwards in the country, and has interest in several programs, including Duke, although from this article from the Detroit News, it appears that it may be a two horse race between Michigan State and Indiana. It does not appear that Duke extended an official scholarship offer, so for now it looks like Wilson may be playing elsewhere.

John Wall will cut his list is reporting that John Wall (PG,6’4″,2009) will be cutting his list down soon.

Daniel Orton and Facebook

One of the more interesting developments in the recruitment of Daniel Orton (C, 6’10”, 2009), a player who has pretty much eliminated the ACC schools from his list, is when Orton apparently went on Facebook and raved about Kentucky. It has seemed for a bit that Orton has been a Kentucky lean, but more interesting is that Orton said he was attempting to convince UNC commit John Henson (SF, 6’10”, 2009) and Duke commit Mason Plumlee (6’11”, PF, 2009) to pull out of their commitments and come to Kentucky as well:

This is what was posted on Facebook:

Hey, i promise this is the real Daniel Orton. i joined this group looking for help recruiting a few players to UK with me. John Wall, John Henson, Mason Plumlee and Terrence Boyd. I feel with atleast two of the guys along with me we can bring in the 8th national title to UK. John Henson and Mason Plumlee i know have already committed. Im working on pulling them out of that. I feel though with the UK fan support we can bring these guys all to Kentucky.

Players have been known to say this kind of thing from time to time, trying to work package deals to play with their pals, and it won’t happen. But it does seem like Orton is a lock for Kentucky at this point. Of course, there’s no way to know right now without asking Orton if he really posted this.

Meanwhile, Bill Cole calls Plumlee a big player with small player skills.

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Cheek still interested in Wake, Negedu to visit IU

May 28, 2008

Dominic Cheek (6’6″, SG, 2009 ) may be off the UNC radar, but he’s still on the Wake Forest prospect list, and he’s certainly interested in the Demon Deacons, according to this interview at Rivals.

Negedu sets up Indiana visit

Emmanuel Negedu ( 6’7″, PF, 2008 ), a Georgia Tech recruit has set up a visit at Indiana for June 3. is reporting that following his Indiana visit, Negedu will visit Georgia Tech on the 8th, Tennessee on the 10th and Memphis on the 12th.

Daniel Orton no longer considering ACC

According to several recent news reports like this one, Daniel Orton ( 6’10”, C, 2009 ), is no longer considering any ACC schools, with his list now consisting of Oklahoma, Ohio State, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and USC. Too bad for Maryland, who could have used Orton’s physical presence inside.

Brandon Knight

Amazingly, Brandon Knight ( 6’3″, SG, 2010 ) plays in the same backcourt as Kenny Boynton (6’2″, SG, 2009 ), and still has emerged as a spectacular player and lists several ACC schools that are interested, including Florida State, Georgia Tech and Clemson.

Scouting Daniel Orton

May 16, 2008

Okay, I am going to let out a secret weapon I have. I have a friend who follows basketball recruiting and even maintains his own player database. Whereas I like to keep up with players coming to the ACC, he likes to scout players and can really spot good players. I like to think that I can spot a good player (probably after someone else mentions them), but I don’t maintain my own database.

Anyway, the reason I am mentioning this is because I’ve convinced him to share notes on one ACC target. I am hopeful that he will post some more of these himself in the future. These are his notes on Daniel Orton (6’10”, C, 2009), who has been offered by Maryland and reportedly was being recruited by Duke and UNC at one time.

At any rate, here is his current scouting report for Daniel Orton. This is a dump right out of his database, not really a polished write up.

Daniel Orton Scouting Report

One of the best big men in the Class of 2009. Orton is a big, strong post player who likes to play center. I’ve seen him listed at 6’9”, 6’10”, and 6’11” all within the past year. He’s an excellent shot blocker and can hit from 10-12 feet consistently. Some reports say he can shoot the three, but I have watched him three times and have never seen him take a deep shot, so I don’t know if he can shoot it from behind the arc or not. He will need to be more physical in college and use his strength to mix it up more persistently. He runs the floor, but doesn’t really run ahead of the break at this point. This does not mean he couldn’t; it just doesn’t seem to be a habit yet. He does not really run down to the front of the rim so he can receive the transition pass under the basket. However, he is not a big stiff, he has good hands and can actually push the ball up the floor if he needs to on the break, although once he gets to college that probably won’t be often. He has an agile, loose gait as he runs the floor and looks like he could really take off at any moment. I’ve seen him handle the ball well in transition, but I’ve also seen him have trouble getting to the rim to finish.

A pretty good rebounder, he really is a presence in the lane and even gives other big men problems. He’s extremely disruptive on defense, being a patient player, deflecting passes and blocking shots. He watches the play develop and seems to have the ability to always swat the ball away, making points in the lane hard to come by. He gets more than just shots, he also swats away a lot of passes. He really frustrates any attempts by the opposing team to get anything going in the paint. He’s a position rebounder as opposed to a timing rebounder, meaning he gets rebounds by taking up space and holding his place, often getting flat footed rebounds.

Orton can get up around the rim, but not a sky walker either. A good size to play the post in college, but likely will could play some power forward in the pros. Should be a solid college player and has the ability to really excel. He has shown flashes of brilliance, even taking the ball full court and slashing into the lane, but those plays are offset by the plays where he just drifts out and doesn’t engage.

Orton can pass the ball, but even though his passing is decent, sending zipping passes, he has a habit of passing in into traffic under the basket. That said, he doesn’t just wildly throw the ball away, either. He knows how to clear space to catch the pass in the post but often he will settle for the short jumper instead of using the drop step against slower defenders. He does look to pass the ball inside often, something even a lot of guards struggle to comprehend. Orton does understand the concept of passing the ball in for a higher percentage shot. Unfortunately, it would be nice to see Orton take the ball more on his own to get points and not settle for a tough pass or jump shot. Sometimes it seems like he should take the ball to the hoop and doesn’t, while other times he will take it in even though he’s being triple teamed. He does have a decent hook shot, which he says is one of his favorite moves.

One of the knocks on Orton is that he has a tendency to take plays off, and that has been true in the games I’ve seen this year. Sometimes he looks great and then other times he kind of just disappears. This could be a combination of conditioning and his own tendencies, but even in games where he was going against much less skilled big men he would either come on strong or fade out for a few minutes. He’s good enough that in these games he still gets some points, but not as many as he should.

Orton has shot free throws well when I’ve seen him.

Class Rankings and UNC Targets

May 6, 2008

With some players at UNC “testing the waters” about going pro, and with the bevy of big men that UNC is bringing in for 2008 and 2009, CarolinaBBall points out that the Tar Heels are almost exclusively recruiting wings at this point.

2008 Recruiting Class Rankings

Zagsblog has posted the list of top 2008 Recruiting Classes rankings as defined by Hoop Scoop. The only ACC school to make the list is Florida State at #9.

John Wall & Daniel Orton (Oklahoma) is reporting that new OSU head coach Travis Ford is actively recruiting Daniel Orton (6’9″, C) and John Wall (6’3″,PG), two ACC prospects.

Video: Daniel Orton

May 2, 2008

A great video of Maryland target big man Daniel Orton (6’9″ C) shows some of his post moves:

Daniel Orton and Xavier Henry – OK in May

April 25, 2008

Maryland target Daniel Orton (6’9″, C) and phenom Xavier Henry (6’6″ SG/SF) will play in the Sooner Cage Classic on Oklahoma on May 2-4, with their AAU team Athletes First. Henry is being recruited by North Carolina but I have read in several places that UNC is below Kansas and Memphis on his list right now.

As for Orton, there’s been a lot of talk lately about whether he’ll stay in state or not, with Oklahoma State stepping up recruitment of him, but at this point it’s anybody’s guess. I don’t think Maryland is seriously in the running for him right now.

Notes from Pitt Jam

April 22, 2008

Duke commit Mason Plumlee(6’11”, PF, 2009) was in attendance at the Pitt Jam Fest this past weekend, along with ACC target John Wall (6′ 3″, combo G, 2009) and Dominic Cheek (6′ 6″, SG, 2009).

Plumlee is an interesting player, in that he runs the floor well, especially for a big man, but it’s a situation similar to UNC commit John Henson, they are big men that don’t have a lot of post power yet. In other words, they are slender kids, unlike Daniel Orton (6’9″, C, 2009), who already plays like a monster in the middle. However, Plumlee is already a good rebounder and moves well without the ball.

Daniel Orton, lazy or just not challenged?

April 20, 2008

Maryland target Daniel Orton has gotten the ‘lazy’ tag, but he is a big body that entices a lot of top programs. In the last two tournaments, Orton showed that he can be a force when he puts his mind to it. It’s really tough to gauge how players like that develop in college, but a lot of times it can mean missed potential? I remember the knock on Major Wingate was taking plays off, and he did that at Tennessee, skipping out early.

A key point for players to get recruited and then have a successful career is consistency, consistency, consistency. This is one of the factors why so many programs are salivating over Derrick Favors, who is known for playing hard and consistent, regardless of the opponent.

Can you guys think of players who had the ‘lazy’ tag in high school that ended up looking great in college?