The title of this thread brings back memories doesnt it? There was a time that you couldnt come on this blog without seeing the name Patrick Patterson and knowing that there would be comments on his seemingly neverending decision-making process. But now he is a Cat, and since that fateful day last year (still the day of the most visitors ever on this site), info on Patrick Patterson has been scarce. Its one of those odd things of life that once Patrick decided to play for UK, daily interest in him went down a bit. That is not a reflection on Patterson, but more our collective delight in finding the “next big thing.” But now the season is quickly approaching and there is a general sentiment out there that wonders just how good Patrick Patterson will be. Thus over the past month or so, I have spent some time talking to folks around UK, including former players and media people to get their take. The collective opinion……Patrick will be special.
If you have been on here for a long time, you know what I believe. I believe Patrick Patterson has the work ethic and toughness of Chuck Hayes combined with skills approaching that of Randolph Morris, packed into the body of a traditional power forward. Simply put, he has the potential to be one of the better forwards to play at UK in my lifetime. I talked with a former player who has watched Patrick some this year and he told me this: “Patrick wont come in right away and score 20 a game…..but he will be an impact player from day one. There is no way this kid will not be a difference maker from the beginning of his time on campus. At first it will be rebounding and interior defense, but over time he will get his points. By his Junior year, he will be a contender for SEC Player of the Year.”
That is high praise indeed, but it is echoed by others. Another former player of a little bit older generation told me, “Patrick is the most ready player as a Freshman to play big time basketball at UK since Tayshaun Prince. I remember early on knowing that Tayshaun knew the game and would be comfortable from the get go. Patrick is the same way. He works so hard and gives 100% effort on every play. I am not sure if he will ever be a great shooter, but I wouldnt bet against him. IF the rest of the team works half as hard as he does on a daily basis, these teams will be special”
These views are very similar to what I believe is the likely result of Patrick’s Freshman season. Expectations for Patterson are as great as any Freshman in the last decade and they should be tempered a bit. Patrick is special, but he isnt Kevin Durant and people need to realize that. But I believe he will start from day one, be a team leader from the get go and become a fan favorite for his desire and basketball IQ. Rob and I often debate how many points a game he will average during his first season and I think that is hard to say. There will be games where Patrick gets 15-18 and there will be games he scores 5-6 points. But he will be a rebounding machine, the best interior defender on the team and a guy who from day one fans can trust in a Chuck Hayes-type way. Simply put he will be a GREAT college basketball player.
I am very excited to see Patrick Patterson suit up for the first time for Kentucky. Patrick Patterson’s explosion on the UK scene both mirrored and help cause the development and rise of this blog. Next to my parents and Rob Gidel, I have probably said the name “Patrick Patterson” more than any other over the past 12 months. But now its go time and the results should be interesting. Before its all said and done, Patrick will go down as one of the great UK players of all time…..I really do believe that. But it may take a little while for that to develop……so here’s hoping that UK fans are patient and give the guy a chance to live up to his tremendous hype. There is no doubt in my mind that it will happen and if conversations with former players are any indication, its almost a universal consensus that Patrick Patterson and UK will be a great marriage.