Patrick Patterson Decides at 11th Hour

Patrick Patterson ( No. 11) took it down to the wire. The 6-foot-8 1/2 unsigned senior made his announcement at a news conference this afternoon - the final day of the spring signing period.

Billy Gillispie may have missed on a few recruits in the past week, but the new Kentucky coach has lured a big one in 6-foot-8 1/2 unsigned senior forward Patrick Patterson.

``I decided yesterday after talking to my family," Patterson said. "We had an hour talk."

``The deciding factor was distance," he added. "I'd like people to be able to come see me play at Kentucky."

Patterson, a McDonald's All-American, chose the Wildcats over Florida and Duke at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon – the final day of the spring signing period.

After receiving a commitment from Alex Legion about a month ago, Gillispie was not able to lure Jai Lucas, Michael Sanchez or Beas Hamga in the past few days.

However, Patterson (, No. 11) surprised many when he decided to pick Kentucky over the two-time defending national champion Florida Gators.

The family had spoken about relationships throughout the process and Gillispie had plenty of catching up to do after taking over the program in April. However, proximity was certainly a factor as Lexington is just hours away from Patterson's West Virginia home.

Patterson will also give Gillespie a solid low-post presence, which the Wildcats are in dire need of for this season.

Patterson averaged 17.6 points, 12 boards and four blocks per game this past season while playing alongside highly touted guard O.J. Mayo. Patterson has led Huntington to three consecutive state titles.

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