Patrick Patterson Taking Step Back

Patrick Patterson, the top unsigned senior ( No. 11) in the land, was on the verge of making some significant progress in his recruitment. Then the coaching carousel hit - and it hit the Huntington High standout forward hard.

Patrick Patterson, the top unsigned senior in the country, was close to trimming his list to three.

Then Tubby Smith left Kentucky for Minnesota and Billy Gillispie took over in Lexington. John Beilein bolted Morgantown for Ann Arbor and Bob Huggins came home to West Virginia.

``With all the moving and leaving, it stirred things up more," said the 6-foot-8, 230-pound Huntington High (West Va.) standout. "My family and I had to talk a lot more."

Patterson will get his first chance to meet with Gillispie tonight when the new Kentucky coach comes in, along with assistant Jeremy Cox, to meet with Patterson at his home.

``I don't know him at all," Patterson said. "I saw him on TV, but don't know much about him."

Huggins will get a chance to make an impression on Patterson soon and both Florida coach Billy Donovan and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski will each get another opportunity to try and close the deal before the end of the month.

``I know he's from Huntington," Patterson said of Huggins. "And that he coached at Cincinnati, but I had never talked to him before."

All the new information has caused Huntington to take a step back and re-assess things.

``I'm taking my time with it even more now," Patterson said.

The list has remained the same for what seems like an eternity: Florida, Duke, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Wake Forest.

``Relationships are the most important thing to me," Patterson said. "With the players and the staff."

Patterson, who averaged 17.6 points and double-digit rebounds this past season while leading Huntington to its third consecutive state title, also mentioned atmosphere, fan support and playing time as key factors.

``I might take this all the way until May," Patterson said.

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