When Charlotte (N.C.) Northside Christian took the court with feverish intensity on Monday night, Jalyn Patterson had a thermometer at this disposal. Despite not being one of loaded Montverde's more touted players. Patterson cooled off an emotionally hot opponent with 16 points, trying for team lead with top-five junior Ben Simmons.
Patterson looks like he'd belong on either a basketball or football court. He possesses a strong frame and a powerful style, which enables him to get to the spots on the court he desires without much difficulty. And yet, he doesn't score like a brute. Patterson clearly understands how to establish his place in an offense without having to dominate the ball or be a featured player from possession to possession.
He buried a couple threes confidently, and he appears particularly comfortable from the corners. That's a shot that avails itself at the college level as well, and thus early in his career he may enjoy success as a spot-up shooter.
I also liked Patterson's defense. He isn't elite laterally or in terms of explosive leaping ability, but he's quick enough that his strength becomes a meaningful asset. Some powerfully built guards simply can't play at high-major speed, but he doesn't project to have that problem.
As much as anything, the lesser heralded grassroots players sometimes have to be deconstructed less in college than their better-exposed peers. Patterson never was a prep darling, didn't have any shrines built for him along the way on the AAU circuit and shouldn't suffer too much of an ego blow upon encountering the inevitable bumps and bruises of his freshman season.
The fact that he can be productive in a slot role, without needing his number called specifically or having to take many shots, bodes well for his ability to become a productive Tiger.