NBA Camp Focus: Patrick Patterson

RICHMOND, Va. – The evolution of Patrick Patterson has been documented since the beginning of spring on the court. However, sat down with Patterson at NBA Camp and found out where his new found confidence stems from.

Patrick Patterson isn't the same guy he was a year ago and that statement extends beyond his play on the basketball court. Much like Andrew Bynum before his meteoric rise up the charts, the 2007 power forward was once a quiet, shy big man.

Not anymore.

Patterson's maturation process is taking place on the court and in the classroom where a speech class has apparently given him the confidence which in turn has allowed his game to take shape.

"Last year I couldn't talk as well or make speeches or talk in front of people (like this interview)," Patterson said. "But last year, over the course of the year by taking speech and English classes my confidence level has gone up. I'm playing basketball against tougher competition, like I said my name is out there a lot more."

It's out there more because he's forcing observers to notice him. Since the inception of the spring traveling season,'s No. 36 prospect has been on the rise. Indications are he's not done yet and he's picking off bigger names in front of him very systematically.

"There's a bunch of big guys out here who have had big names for a long time," Patterson said. "Me, I come out here and I'm an underdog, I'm just coming up and not many people have heard of me. So, this summer I've been going to a lot of camps and playing tough competition with guys who have their names up there and are amazing.

"Then I come out here and I show what I have. Sometimes I play better than them in a game and they realize who I am and see I have game too."

By now, everyone knows and believes he has game. At the NBA Camp on the first day, Patterson was one of the camp's bright spots. Head coaches at Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, Wake Forest and West Virginia call him "their guy." They aren't lying either.

Duke is in the mix and his courtship with the Devils is just beginning. He expects to speak with Mike Krzyzewski shortly upon the conclusion of this camp.

Patterson wants to trim up his list to 5 or 6 by the end of the summer. He sounds like he's going to be an easy kid to coach and should be enjoyable during the recruiting process too.

"Academics, that's what I look at first. Then I'll worry about how me and the coaching staff get along. Then I'll look to see my playing time. I don't have to start or play that much, just a little "PT" every now and then and then I'll glance at the distance how far it is from my family but distance isn't really a factor. Most of all I'll look at it academics-wise because I plan to go all 4 years."

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