Bledsoe and Orton to Stay in NBA Draft

May 8, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky Freshmen Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton will forego their sophomore seasons and keep their names in this year’s NBA Draft.

Bledsoe, a 6-foot-1 guard, and Orton, 6-foot-10 forward, join fellow underclassmen teammates DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and John Wall staying in the draft.

“I never thought I’d be ready for the NBA after one year,” Bledsoe said. “I worked hard to be able to have this choice. Coach Cal pushed me to be the best I could be and I’m ready to take my game to the next level. I want to thank the fans for all their support this year. Why would anyone not want to come to Kentucky? I loved it.”

Bledsoe, the Birmingham, Ala. native, averaged 11.3 ppg, while hitting 49 three-pointers and shooting 38 percent from behind the line in his freshman campaign. Bledsoe finished sixth on UK’s all-time freshman scoring list (419), second on the three-point field goals made list (49) and fourth on the freshman assist list (107).

"This team is the best team that I have ever been a part of and it’s been a great experience," Orton said. "I appreciate and thank the University of Kentucky, the coaching staff and all of the Kentucky fans. I am truly blessed to be a part of the Kentucky family. I wish Kentucky continued success in the future."

Orton, from Oklahoma City, Okla., served as the Wildcats’ sixth man this season averaging 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds. He was second on the team in blocked shots with 53 and ranked eighth in the SEC in blocks per game (1.4).

The 2010 NBA Draft will take place on June 24.