As I perused the message boards a bit on this Sunday afternoon (never a good decision), I found most talk was not about the Wildcats big win, their status going into the rest of SEC play or the health of Razor Ramon. Instead, the most debated question continues to be will Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks be back next year? On virtually every UK website (including this one) and on every UK talk radio show, folks continue to clamor for an answer as to whether these two young men will return to UK next season. Most of these “debates” are essentially two schools of people: (1) the people who assume they will come back because they “love college”, are “good kids” and “want to win a championship” or (2) those who say “They will be top picks in the draft and thus they are certain to go.
While I have my opinions on the likelihood of each player returning, two things are clear. First, at this point the decision has not been made and any person who speaks with certainty is not telling the truth. And second, way too much energy is being spent worrying about the topic. Right now the Cats are in the midst of a great run in the season and are slowly setting themselves up to do potentially very good things at the end of the year. Rather than focusing on that, many would rather worry and wonder what will happen next season. Part of that is just human nature. I have had many fans ask me if Daniel Orton will leave after one year and he hasnt even arrived yet in Lexington. But part of that is a desire to worry about the future and not live in the moment that makes being a happy fan difficult.
There will be no amount of fan worry and stress that will have an effect on the players’ ultimate decision. As Billy Gillispie said at Media Day, a person who cares about these young men should just want them to play so well that whatever decision they make is easy. And it is also understandable that fans of a team want two of the transcendent players of recent years to play for their team as long as possible. But for now, fans should truly step back and just appreciate what they have. I believe Patrick Patterson is the best pure post player at Kentucky since Bowie/Turpin and Jodie Meeks has rewritten the UK history books for all generations. We havent seen a duo like this since Issel/Pratt and who knows when we will see it again. So rather than debate a question for which an answer will not come for some time (and hints given in either direction are almost surely not reliable), appreciate what you see. It is a special year for individual greatness on the Kentucky basketball floor and we should all sit back and recognize.