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On This Date in 2007: Patrick Patterson commits to Kentucky

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Billy Gillispie didn’t have many wins when it came to recruiting while at the University of Kentucky. Names like Michael Avery, Dominque Ferguson, and Kevin Galloway litter a list of players who didn’t live up to expectations or hype.

For those early readers of KSR, you might remember May 14th, 2007, a day that Matt Jones described in an article as “likely the worst 24 hours of recruiting that the UK basketball program has ever had in its long history.”

That day, described by Jones as “Black Monday” saw three major recruits go against the Cats. The most notable being Jai Lucas who spurned Kentucky to play for Billy Donovan and Florida. Yeah, that same Jai Lucas.

The other “higher-rated” names that the new UK head coach missed on the same day? Beas Hamga, who picked UNLV, and Michael Sanchez, who headed to Arkansas. Hamga only played in 31 total games in college scoring a total of 16 points while Sanchez averaged just under five points a game during his career in Fayetteville.

That brings us to May 16th in 2007 when Huntington Prep forward Patrick Patterson was announcing where he would play college basketball.

Heading into the day, Gillispie had been on the job in Lexington about six weeks and had yet to sign a player from the ’07 class. After missing out on Lucas, Hamga, and Sanchez, the new head coach needed a win on the recruiting trail.

The announcement was simple and traditional. Three hats sitting on a table. Patterson paused, picked up one, and uttered the words “I will be attending the University of Kentucky.”

At the time, it felt like the rebirth of Kentucky basketball was officially beginning again. Patterson had been one of the mainstays of recruiting for over two years and since he played just across the bridge in West Virginia, an easy target for fans to visit and see in person.

In fact, the day he announced was, at the time, KSR’s biggest day viewership for the site in history.

In the KSR article posted back on this date in 2007 announcing the commitment, Matt Jones wrote “What matters (is) the perception that he was the hottest recruit in America and Kentucky got him…..that is UK basketball and it feels good.” 

The excitement surrounding Patterson at the time was real from fans. One KSR commenter on the article said “The Big Blue Nation can now raise (its) collective middle finger to the rest of the college basketball world and say F-You, we’re back. There will be no rest for the butthole coaches out there like Pitino, Donovan & Coach K while BCG is on the job. The minute those jerks think it’s okay to relax for just one second, Billy-G will be out there recruiting circles around them.”

Another one added “Congrats all around! This is huge, as Matt has stated so well, for UK basketball. People will see that we are back. WE feel as if we are back – because we are. BCG is in the process of putting UK back at the top of the heap of college BB. Thanks Coach. Now go take a day off, buy a house, and re-load on Dr. Pepper!  Let’s have Midnight Madness at Commonwealth Stadium so more of us can enjoy the moment! Isn’t all this fun??!! I wonder who BCG will recruit next?”

While the talent around him didn’t succeed until John Wall and company showed up in 2009, Patterson lived up to the hype that surrounded him. He averaged 16.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game across his three seasons in Lexington. An injury his freshman season forced him to come back for his sophomore and junior seasons which he turned into being the 14th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Now, 13 seasons later, Patterson is still continuing his NBA career. Something that no other Gillispie recruit at Kentucky can say.

Article written by Sam Gormley

Follow me on Twitter @GormleyKSR; "The Whitest Man in the World"-JRock

8 Comments for On This Date in 2007: Patrick Patterson commits to Kentucky

  1. Condo1122
    4:27 pm May 16, 2021 Permalink

    Remember that day vividly. I was a senior in high school, getting ready to head to UK myself in the fall. The excitement was intense. Actually ending up having a couple of classes with Patrick.

  2. nocode96
    4:54 pm May 16, 2021 Permalink

    I love Patterson so much! He was integral. People nowadays too easily forget what a dumpster fire UK ball was then, even before the hiring of BCG, he just took it to new lows. We weren’t “back” then, we were BACK two years later and have been as relevant as ever since, but alas, a small portion of our “fans” don’t know how good they’ve got it and choose to complain every day.

  3. T-Town Cat
    4:57 pm May 16, 2021 Permalink

    I believe BCG also recruited and signed Darius Miller, and I think he is still in the NBA.

    • DelrayCat
      5:15 pm May 16, 2021 Permalink

      Unfortunately, Miler was likely cut for the last time earlier in the year by OKC. He had some flashes, but never made a mark in the League. He’s probably got a couple of good years left overseas.
      PPat may get that ring this year with LAC.

    • T-Town Cat
      5:44 pm May 16, 2021 Permalink

      Thanks for the clarification, DC.

  4. ukkatzfan
    5:29 pm May 16, 2021 Permalink

    I wonder whatever happened to the other recruit at that time ? Jai something or the other ?

    • ThatsAShame
      6:56 pm May 16, 2021 Permalink

      Came here strictly for this comment.
      Back when nearly 80% of the comments on this site were “any news on PPat or Lucas” regardless of topic. It was a little frustrating but now I kind of miss that comment section

  5. Megan
    8:34 am May 17, 2021 Permalink

    Question about missing out on recruits: If they don’t pan out for some reason – if they play in only 31 games and score a total of 16 points, or if they average less than five points for their career – do we still consider them misses? Do we still hold it against the coach for not landing those recruits? In retrospect, “missing out” on Hamga and Sanchez wasn’t the Black Monday our overly dramatic Matt made it out to be. We were probably better off without them.