It looks like it could be another long year for former Kentucky Wildcat Daniel Orton. It seems as if Orton has recovered from the knee injury that caused him to miss last season with the Orlando Magic, but Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy seems to think Orton could be headed for another “redshirt” season:
Van Gundy said after practice that Orton looks trim and mobile, but he hasn’t played a lot of basketball while dealing with a left-knee injury he sustained in high school. Orton played one year at Kentucky before the Magic drafted him.
Orton underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee last season and says it finally feels as if it’s back to normal.
“Daniel’s very inexperienced, and he’s not ready to be thrown into a game right now, ” Van Gundy said. “He needs a lot of learning time, a learning year.”
If this is the case, its bad news for Orton and the Magic, especially with the future of All Star center Dwight Howard up in the air. If Howard is traded, Orton could find himself in a position to get a good bit of playing time.
With all the recent drama with Indiana fans and a matchup with Louisville looming on the horizon, we have not spent much time bashing the Dirty Vols lately. Well I am happy to say that there is still fallout from the Volunteers 10-7 loss to Kentucky on November 26. UT AD Dave Hart reveals that he did not think it was appropriate to offer Derek Dooley a vote of confidence after UT lost to Kentucky (H/T John Clay):
“Nobody was more upset than the guy you are looking at,” Hart said in an interview with the News Sentinel on Thursday, the first day in which he’s sat down with reporters since the end of UT’s 5-7 football season.
“When I’ve been around that level of disappointment, I don’t talk to the coach for at least 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours. I don’t have anything good to say. I can’t be encouraging at that moment. I’m feeling what a lot of people are feeling at that moment because it hurts, it’s embarrassing. You’re human.”
Congrats to Highlands QB and Kentucky commit Patrick Towles who was named Kentucky’s “Mr. Football” for his state championship winning season. And for those wondering, Towles is still “150% committed” to the Wildcats.
Congrats go out to former Kentucky Wildcat Corey Peters who scored his first NFL touchdown last night. Peters returned a fumble for a touchdown in the Falcons 41-14 win over the Jaguars last night. It’s been a big couple of weeks for Peters who was named as the Falcons Man of the Year recently.
Well, here’s one to keep an eye on. Seems that Pitt center Khem Birch is unhappy with his role and may be considering a transfer. As of now, Birch remains at Pitt. If he does transfer, there is speculation both for and against the fact that he may be looking at Kentucky.
To be honest, I’m not sure how this would work out. There does not appear to be a scholarship available for Jarnell Stokes to play for Kentucky in January, so I don’t see how there could be a scholarship available for Birch, who would not be eligible to play until next December (same as Twany Beckham situation this year).
Birch is currently averaging 4.4 points and 5 rebounds and playing 15 minutes a game for the 14th ranked Panthers. ESPN had Birch rated as the top center in the 2011 class, ahead of Andre Drummond. If Birch does transfer, it will have to happen soon. I would assume that if he plays tomorrow versus South Carolina State, he would be looked into playing the full year at Pitt.
Today is the last day to sign up for the WBN Bowl Mania Group on ESPN.com, so if you have not done so, head over, join up and make your picks. The infamous Potato Bowl is tomorrow.