As the group of departed NBA rookie Cats begins to settle in and get accustomed to their new landings, some have had interesting teammates to contend with this week (Gilbert Arenas and his “gag order”) and some have had minor setbacks (DeMarcus Cousins’ dislocated finger). But, one of UK’s most beloved figures is getting in nicely with the Rockets, partially thanks to another one of UK’s most beloved figures. In this Q&A with the Houston Rockets’ official site, Patrick Patterson talks about what it’s like to both learn from and bang bodies with Chuck Hayes. An excerpt:
Patterson: One of the guys who has surprised me the most would have to be Chuck Hayes. He’s obviously known for his spectacular defense. He’s a big body and he’s hard to get around. So everyone knows about his defense. But watching games, it doesn’t seem like he does much on offense — every now and then he’ll make an offensive move and he’s the king of finishing on the other side of the rim.
So a lot of people see that, but not many see him actually getting the ball and scoring the ball 8 straight times in a row from the post making moves, the way I’ve seen it this summer. I didn’t know he had that type of offensive game, that type of repertoire down low on the post. So that’s something that definitely shocked me, his overall ability to score all over the court. He was even shootings 3s and he hit a game-winning 3 over me, so his ability to score has really caught my eye.
Rockets: Well I’m sure since Chuck is a fellow Wildcat you were probably more familiar with his game and reputation than other rookies might have been. But when you saw him for the first time, saw this 6-6 guy you tower over, did you think you’d be able to take him no problem?
Patterson: Definitely. You may look at him and think, “This guy’s short, I can go over him or around him because he doesn’t look that fast or that quick,” but when you step on the court and actually go up against him, you find out quick that your assumptions are wrong because Chuck has got some fast feet on him. You may be able to go over him but you aren’t going to get that close to the basket because he’s going to push you all the way out.
My impressions when I first got here were that I thought I could just keep jumping and shooting over him but as I learned, he pushes me all the way out to the free throw line because he’s so strong and his body is so wide. So it’s definitely something he’s been helping me out with and teaching me, in terms of how to move around defenders, and how to better utilize my offensive skills.