Ready for a little after lunch reading? ProBballReport.com’s Stephen Brotherson has a nice profile of Patrick Patterson on his site today, in which the Toronto big man opens up about how coming back to UK for his junior year and playing under John Calipari changed his game for the better:
“Being taller than everybody, I was forced to play the 5,” Patterson said. “In college my first 2 years, I was a center at 6’8, so to that I credit my post defense and (Coach) Calipari, he came in my junior year, he introduced me to the perimeter game. He allowed me to shoot the ball, put the ball on the floor and that allowed me to transition to the NBA.
“It opened up my game. Had I not stayed with DeMarcus (Cousins) and John (Wall), I would have come out as a 6’8 center. A guy who had never stepped out to the three-point line or even taken an 18’ jump shot, I would be pretty much a version of Chuck (Hayes), but not as strong and not as wide. That would have been my game, just around the basket and then I would have had to start from scratch when I got to the NBA. Coming back with John and DeMarcus and Calipari is definitely the reason that I am the type of player I am today.”
Calipari is attempting to do the same thing with Julius Randle, who more often than not is flooded with double and triple teams in the post. We’ve seen glimpses of Randle’s perimeter game this season, and it’s very much still a work-in-progress, but if he could develop at least a mid-range jumper, he’ll be an even more successful pro. Just look at the effect it had on Patrick.