Glenn Logan of the popular Kentucky blog,

Talking Daniel Orton With A Sea Of Blue


Glenn Logan of the popular Kentucky blog, A Sea Of Blue, was kind enough to take time out of his day to answer a few questions about Orlando’s first round draft pick, Center Daniel Orton. Orton spent one season at Kentucky as the backup to Sacramento Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins, who was the fifth overall pick of the 2010 draft.

Howard the Dunk: Daniel Orton didn’t get a lot of time playing behind DeMarcus Cousins. When he was in, what stuck out to you about his game – what did he do well?

A Sea Of Blue: What stuck out to us was two things — his rebounding and the way he works to get good position. Orton is as comfortable with physical contact as DeMarcus Cousins was, and that is pretty comfortable. He has a big, strong, NBA body and is not afraid to put it on somebody.

Orton is also a very good shot blocker, probably his most polished skill. DeMarcus Cousins’ shot-blocking ability came from his long wingspan and intelligence — he never left the floor to attempt a shot block. Orton is more athletic than Cousins and can get off the floor better, and his timing is really good.

Orton can also face and shoot. He almost never did that at Kentucky, because Calipari’s instructions were for him to get down low and bang, but Orton is known to have good form on his jumpshot and is a pretty fair ballhandler for a guy his size.

HtD: Orton is obviously very raw. What part of his game do you think needs the most work?

ASoB: His offensive moves. Even though he gets post position well, he doesn’t have a lot of good back-to-the-basket moves. He has a drop step, of course, but it isn’t much more effective or polished than it was when he came to Kentucky out of high school. His role on the UK team last year was to defend, block shots, and get offensive rebounds, not be a scoring option. His offensive game needs the most work, but Orton has all the pieces it takes to be a good player in the NBA.

HtD: After watching Orton during the Orlando Pro Summer League, he looks nowhere near ready to play in the league. How long do you think it will take to get him ready and do you believe the D-League would be the best option?

ASoB: Orton’s biggest problem is lack of reps, and the fact that Calipari wasn’t bringing him along the way you would a player who was likely to go straight to the NBA. Orton came to Kentucky after a long period of relative inactivity coming off knee surgery. He wasn’t 100% until about December, and he was never cast in a role of anything other than a backup to DeMarcus Cousins. Hence, he didn’t get the skills training he needed last year — he was figured to be the #1 inside option this year.

That, and the fact that he effectively missed his senior year in high school is why Orton is so raw. For all intents and purposes, you are looking at a high school junior in terms of skill development.

Orton is a quick study and a smart kid, even though he made some bad decisions at Kentucky. I think Orton can be ready to contribute spot minutes in under a year if he gets good instruction. The D-league might be an option, but moving him there might set him back more than it helps him. He is capable of playing at the NBA level, and the more experience he gets playing with that level of talent, the sooner he will be productive.

Orton should have stayed another year at Kentucky. Nobody who knows basketball disputes this. But he has everything he needs to succeed in the NBA except experience.

HtD: Do you think Orton has what it takes to eventually be an NBA Center?

ASoB: I do. He has all to tools, he just has to learn how all those quality pieces fit together. As I said, in terms of experience, Orton is probably the equivalent of a high school junior. Get him some good instruction and some reps during garbage time, and I think he will rapidly improve.

I’d like to thank Glenn for his time and encourage all of you to check out A Sea Of Blue.

If you’d like to read the Q&A about Orlando’s second round pick, Stanley Robinson, click here.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page, and co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days ( Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).