Patterson to Announce in a Week

The seemingly endless recruitment of West Virginia High School standout Patrick Patterson will finally come to an end. The 6'9" power forward from Huntington High School will announce his college choice next Wednesday at a 3:45 afternoon news conference.

The signing period actually ends on Tuesday, so it's possible Patterson will sign on Tuesday, swearing his new school to secrecy. Or he could decide not to sign at all and simply announce his decision. That would add three more months of speculation to the process.

Patterson is a tremendous prospect who had his choice of the top programs in America, eventually narrowing his list to a final three of Florida, Kentucky and Duke. All three can really use him and one of the three will be dancing in the streets come next week. There's a strong belief that the family is split on the decision with Patrick leaning to UF, Dad preferring Duke and Mom wanting him closer to home in Lexington. The family however insists that's not the case.

Patterson reminds me of Al Horford at this stage and he is an ideal fit for Florida which would not ask him to play center full-time. Neither Duke nor Kentucky has a big man with the talent of Marreese Speights and that is a significant factor in Florida's favor.

Jai Lucas Will Go Sooner

Super point guard prospect Jai Lucas may make a formal announcement before Patterson does. Lucas knows full well that Florida's Taurean Green won't be returning to school. He also knows that Kentucky returns its backcourt of Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford. His third school is Oklahoma State and they, too have a returning guard tandem. It's hard for me to see Lucas anywhere but the O'Dome next season.

If Lucas announces to Florida prior to Patterson making his call; the Gators could be bringing in the two best uncommitted players in the nation and will have a six man class that ranks in the top five nationally.

That's what it's like to re-load rather than re-build.

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