Positive fan response likely exemplifies why Orris decided to transfer

2 Apr
Orris gets a rare moment on the court during Kansas State's win over South Carolina Upstate in early December (AP Photo).

Orris gets a rare moment on the court during Kansas State’s win over South Carolina Upstate in early December (AP Photo).

Freshman point guard Michael Orris appears to have received nothing but positive messages after announcing his decision to transfer from Kansas State. From coach Bruce Weber’s supportive statement to dozens of well wishes directed to Orris on Twitter, no one seems to have a negative word to say to the young player about his choice to go elsewhere.

If Orris had any doubts on whether transferring was the right idea, that pleasant reaction might just confirm his decision.

Think about it. What contribution has a player made to a program if no one is upset when he leaves?

An athlete wants to make a difference on his team. If he achieves that, fans will be upset when his time with the team is over, whether he graduates, goes to the NBA or transfers to another school.

Remember the fan reaction to the departure of McDonald’s All-American Wally Judge? While many expressed that they hoped for the best for Judge, not all the farewells were so warm. People were disappointed and angry that he would not longer be playing for the Wildcats.

The obvious reason people were upset about Judge leaving and essentially indifferent about Orris leaving is that the latter got next to zero playing time this season. No one really got to see him play enough to know what the team might be missing from him in the future. (Obviously this does not apply to his coaches, teammates and friends, who I’m sure are sad to see him go.)

Undoubtedly, Orris wants to be somewhere he has a chance to get on the floor enough that people will notice when he is not there anymore. With sophomore Angel Rodriguez and junior Will Spradling in front of Orris on the depth chart at Kansas State, Orris apparently came to the conclusion that, in order to get playing time more quickly, he needs to play somewhere else. Here’s the statement Kansas State released on his behalf.

“I have really enjoyed my time at K-State. It is difficult to leave my friends, teammates and coaches, but I think this decision is the best for my future in basketball. I will always be appreciative of the opportunity given to me by Coach Weber to come here and the support by all those involved at K-State.”

Perhaps another part of the equation here is that Orris did not originally plan to come to Kansas State. He signed on to play for Weber when the coach was still at Illinois. Orris’ hometown of Crete is just about two hours away from the campus, equivalent to that between Manhattan, Kan., and the Kansas City area. It’s far enough that the family won’t be dropping in but close enough that a student can get home when he wants to. At Kansas State, Orris was more than 600 miles from home, which comes out to about a 10-hour drive.

Almost certainly, though, playing time is the main reason for Orris’ transfer. Weber basically acknowledged this in the short statement attributed to him in yesterday’s press release.

“Over the past week, he and I have had several discussions about his future and he thinks this gives him the best chance to be successful.  He is a quality young man who I have known for a long time, so I wish him nothing but the best as he moves forward with his life.”

As the basketball season winds down, Orris will be gearing up to start over somewhere new. If he finds the success he is looking for, people will react with a little more emotion the next time he leaves the basketball team.

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