UK Recruiting

Hard to tell how Cousins, Orton fit

The question of how signees Daniel Orton and DeMarcus Cousins will form a new-look Twin Towers for the Kentucky basketball team has divided recruiting analysts.

Brick Oettinger of the Prep Stars recruiting service envisioned two highly skilled big men complementing each other and not getting in each other's way.

But Jerry Meyer of the Rivals.com recruiting service saw two big men on the court together as a bad fit for new UK Coach John Calipari's dribble-drive motion offense.

"I don't think it's a good fit together," Meyer said. When asked why, he cited "a lack of foot speed" for Orton and Cousins as either played power forward against perimeter-oriented teams with a smaller, quicker "four-man."

Calipari's offense is better suited for a lineup predicated on speed rather than size, Meyer said.

However, Meyer added, "When you have weapons like that, I imagine (Calipari) will tweak what he does."

If there's a compatibility issue, it's something most college coaches would love to face.

The question arose after Orton's father confirmed reports that his son has decided to play for Kentucky next season.

"He told me that is where he's going," Larry Orton said on Tuesday. The elder Orton had said for several days that his son was all but set to play for Kentucky next season.

Daniel Orton signed with Kentucky last fall, then wavered after the school fired Billy Gillispie as coach.

Orton decided to stay with Kentucky after several discussions with Calipari, the latest coming last weekend while all were in New York for the Jordan Brand Classic All-Star game.

When asked what caused his son to decide to play for Kentucky, Larry Orton said, "The fans. The embracing of the fans."

Orton plans to come to Lexington around May 12 to begin summer school, his father said.

The elder Orton suggested that playing time might be plentiful for his son and Cousins. When asked about Patrick Patterson's testing of his NBA stock this spring, Larry Orton said, "I don't think he's coming back from what I heard."

If Patterson leaves, Kentucky's front court will be anything but empty. Cousins, who signed with UK last week, is rated by Rivals as a top-five national prospect. Orton is considered a top-20 national prospect.

"Kentucky would have an inside array of talent to compare with anybody's," Oettinger said. "These are not young men who are not ready for the top level of college basketball."

Oettinger saw Cousins and Orton, both about 6-foot-10, as players with the skill to play in the low post or face the basket.

Henry family conflicted

Highly regarded wing prospect Xavier Henry's on-again, off-again official visit to Kentucky this weekend is off again. But it could be back on again soon. Henry will attend his high school senior prom on Friday, the day he had planned to visit UK with older brother C.J. Henry.

His father, Carl Henry, said it was possible his sons could visit Kentucky on Saturday. Or a decision between either UK or Kansas could be made without a trip to Lexington.

Carl Henry acknowledged that the family has mixed feelings about the options. The players' mother does not like the idea of moving from Oklahoma City, Okla., to Central Kentucky. That gives Kansas a boost.

But the sons like new UK coach John Calipari and his dribble-drive style of play, the two reasons why the players originally signed (Xavier) or pledged to walked on (C.J.) with Memphis.

"I put it to my sons this way," Carl Henry said. "You went to Memphis because of Coach Cal. You liked his style."

However this plays out, fans should expect a decision soon. "They're kind of tired of it," Carl Henry said of the recruiting process.

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