Patterson's Poker Game Is Strong

Three down and two to go. Patrick Patterson is back from Kentucky and while it was a tremendous showing by one of college basketball's royal programs, the senior power forward remains committed to his process.

In the last 10 years, basketball recruiting has seen numerous outstanding poker players. From Julius Hodge to Brandan Wright, each year there's at least one guy who keeps you guessing. So, who's that guy this season?

Patrick Patterson.

After an impressive summer that saw his ranking rise to a lofty No. 11 in the nation, the Huntington (WVa.) High standout fielded recruiting interest from everybody. His recruitment has been interesting to follow. North Carolina called and he politely declined.

When he was merely a Top 100 player, Florida, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky were all over him. He's remained loyal to all those schools. Duke expressed interest and was let into his recruitment but outside of the Blue Devils he's pretty much closed ranks.

Name a rumor about Patterson and we've heard it. Here are some favorites:

1) He's a package deal with Jai Lucas – If that's the case, why do they only have one common school on their list?

2) He's down to Florida and Kentucky – Tell Wake Forest and Virginia that; both programs have him on campus soon and his parents are going on each visit.

3) "He's going …" -- Honestly, we've heard rumors that he'll commit to Duke, Florida and Kentucky. Unless there's cloning involved, that won't happen.

4) Some see visits to Wake and UVa as cosmetic; he's not going there – "Most people would assume that," Patterson said. "They are surprised I'm considering Wake Forest and Virginia but I don't see it like that. It's about where I'm most comfortable."

The point is, Patterson has them guessing – at least on the outside. He's been on three official visits but says no separation by any school has been achieved.

"I have to sit down and talk to my family and write down the pros and cons," Patterson said. "I have to see what my playing time will be." Well, we can answer that one for him. Schools don't recruit guys like Patterson to give him front row seats for conference games. The Patterson's of the world come in and play … and play a lot.

There's even been some chatter that Patterson won't sign early and we've heard that one more than once. The big fella says he's attempting to decide. "I'm going to try to decide in the fall. I'm going to try to (decide)."

Last weekend, Patterson was on UK's campus for its biggest recruiting weekend of the year. The ‘Cats fill the place up, hold a huge party and to a recruit it's pretty impressive.

"It's amazing," Patterson said. "It's spectacular with all the fans. They chanted ‘Patrick Patterson' when I walked into the gym."

We know this: it won't be the last time a group of fans chant his name. What we don't know is which group gets to do it the most.

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