Billy Gillispie on Three UK Signees

November 12th, 2008

Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie on the official signing of Jon Hood, Daniel Orton and GJ Vilarino:

"I'm really excited about all three of the players that we signed today.  They will all be terrific players for us and we are very fortunate to have them.  Our roster will get better with these three signees.  All three of them are great human beings.  They are all excited and all three of them love Kentucky."


On GJ Vilarino...

"GJ Vilarino is the first one who committed to us and he is one of the fastest players in the country.  Currently, that is something that we lack.  He continues to get better and he is an extremely hard worker.  Vilarino is a gym rat, and we need more of those.  He starts about 6:30 A.M., and he is often either lifting weights or getting individual instruction.  He is becoming a vocal leader and I like the way he is beginning to mature.  Vilarino has been a good player for a long time and he continues to get better.  I'm very excited about him and I appreciate that he made his commitment very shortly after I got here." 


On Jon Hood...

"Jon Hood is the second player who committed and I think he will be a tremendous player.  In the last year he has improved as much as anyone.  He is also a gym rat.  After going to Big Blue Madness, Vilarino and Hood were in the gym working and shooting.  They did the same thing the next night.  He is a very good athlete and he continues on the path of the other players we have been recruiting.  Hood is long and athletic, and he has gained weight.  I don't care if he gains any more weight because he will continue to get stronger.  He can shoot the ball and he has the ability to make baskets.  Some players can shoot the ball, but they can't make the play to get a basket.  Some players can make baskets, but they aren't great shooters.  He will be a combination of those things, and he will be able to score in a variety of ways.  Hood will eventually have the ability to initiate offense. He has great leadership ability and he has a great love for the University of Kentucky.  We are awfully happy to have him.  I like his toughness, but I love his confidence.  He wants to see how he measures up with the rest of the team and find areas he needs to improve.  He is determined and he comes from a great basketball family.  His mother played in the Final Four and his father played at the collegiate level."


On Daniel Orton...

"Daniel Orton was the third player to commit here.  We are extremely happy to have him, and of our recruits, he has the most national recognition.  He is an unbelievable prospect at a difficult position to recruit.  His IQ is off the charts, he understands how to play and he already has an NBA body.  He has agility, speed and unbelievable hands.  Orton sees what other players at his position can't.  Not many players can pass and read defense like he can.  This is all projection, but I think he will be a fantastic player as well.  I'm not worried about his knee injury.  I wish he hadn't gotten hurt, but those things happen.  It is very unfortunate for him and his high school team.  It definitely hurts when you lose a player of that magnitude.  He will rehab exactly as he should and he'll get back to full health."