By Scott Hansen
Oklahoma City (Okla.) Bishop McGuinness big man Daniel Orton, one of the top center prospects in the Class of 2009, has trimmed his grocery list of schools shopping for his talents to seven.
Orton, a 6-foot-10 shot blocking intimidator, has named Kentucky, Connecticut, Ohio State, Kansas, UCLA, Texas and Oklahoma in his final seven. Kentucky appears to be leading the way for Orton.
Orton told the Daily Oklahoman that he and Kentucky head coach Billy Gillespie have developed an outstanding relationship.
Orton has been a three-year starter for the Fighting Irish heading into his senior campaign, winning three Class 4A state championships in the process. Last season, Orton averaged 13.7 points and 11.2 rebounds per game last season for the 26-4 Fighting Irish and added 141 blocks and 78 assists.
Many originally thought this budding superstar would end up at Oklahoma State. Orton’s brother, Terrence Crawford, played in Stillwater under former head coach Eddie Sutton. Crawford played in the NBDL for the Anaheim Arsenal last season.
Orton made national headlines last season when he shattered a backboard in the debut of McGuinness’ newly remodeled gymnasium in a game against Tulsa Union.
Orton was ranked as the 20th top prospect nationally by CBS College Sports recruiting analyst Van Coleman, but that ranking could go even higher as Orton continues to dominate the AAU circuit while playing with Athlete’s First.
With Orton patrolling the paint for the Fighting Irish in 2009, McGuinness could be the top team in the state of Oklahoma in any classification. Loaded with a brutal schedule filled with teams from Class 6A and 5A, Orton will be tested.