A shout out tonight to our man Patrick Patterson, who turns 20 years old today. Patterson has been a warrior all year long and he deserves the ultimate respect of the Big Blue Nation. I never hear anyone say anything but great things about Patrick….which says a lot about how amazing he is on the court and what a great person he is off of it. Happy Birthday to the big fella….
Couple of things on a Saturday night…..
— I have dealt with most of this stuff in the live blogs, but if you havent followed them, I think the next few weeks are huge for UK basketball going forward. Three of the biggest figures in UK basketball in the last ten years, Billy Gillispie, PAtrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks, all will have to determine what their future with the program will be. I keep getting asked what I think will happen with each and here is the best I can do….
Gillispie: No decision has yet been made on the Coach. Folks who say he is definitely gone or definitely coming back are, in my view, mistaken at this time. But this is going to be a close call and there is a lot of pressure on Mitch Barnhart. The decision will come right after the season….if he stays, expect a signed contract and a public press conference in which he absolves some PR sins….if he goes, well then UK moves on. It truly could go either way….I will say this however….an informal poll of the media at the SEC Tournament revealed that privately most expect him gone. We shall see if they are correct.
Patterson: Will look into the draft at the end of the year and could go either way. I personally think Patrick would LIKE to return….but if he thinks it is a business decision that he has to make, he will go to the NBA. Who the coach is will matter in that decision.
Meeks: I think he would like to return to Kentucky and the smart money is that it makes more sense to do so. However there are some forces that could send him to the Draft either way. His decision is the most up in the air and I think it is far from clear what he will do. The status of the UK program is probably more important to Meeks than what his ultimate draft status will be.
— I think there will likely be two transfers at the end of the season and another potential one, depending on how things play out. There is also another potential roster move that has gotten downplayed on the message boards, but is a possibility. Either way, anyone who believes they can predict with certainty the roster next year is just fooling themselves.
— I was told that ESPN is pushing the UK-Davidson first round matchup that we talked about earlier today. As of yesterday that was the plan, but I was told by someone reliable today that it is not finalized. UK will however play at Memorial on Tuesday night from all indications.
This will be a tumultuous few weeks in the program. Honestly no one knows for certain how it will look come mid-April. But remember that this is Kentucky and in the end, things will find a way to work themselves out. We will do here what we have always done…..report on what we hear and let you know how strongly we feel about it. What you take from that is of course, your choice.
Strap yourselves in folks…..it will be a bumpy ride.