Patterson Quietly Getting It Done

The recruitment of Indianapolis' Ron Patterson was a quiet one in comparison to some of his peers. By committing well before his junior season, he took a lot of the hype and all of the intrigue out of his recruiting coverage, but that's fine with Patterson. It's allowed him to focus on his team and without much fanfare he's producing as well as any guard in the state.

The recruitment of Indianapolis guard Ron Patterson was a quiet one in comparison to some of his peers. By committing well before his junior season, he took a lot of the hype and all of the intrigue out of his recruiting coverage, but that's fine with Patterson. It's allowed him to focus solely on guiding his team to new heights and he's quietly been putting together an eye-opening season at Broad Ripple this winter.

"We want to make a statement in these last three games and come in to the sectionals ready," Patterson said when asked what's on his mind these days.

The Rockets are currently 17-2, and with three winnable games remaining to close out the regular season, are hoping to head into the state tournament with an 11-game winning streak (which included a city championship along the way). A February 22nd match-up with Lawrence Central and star forward Jeremy Hollowell will be their biggest roadblock, but Patterson will certainly welcome the challenge of locking horns with a five-star player ranked ahead of him by recruiting services. It's something he's relished for years and what has helped make him into the lockdown defender he is today.

"It really became important to me while playing during the summers," Patterson said of his defense. "I would see all these big names and hear all this stuff about how great they were, but I was always like ‘yeah, whatever, I can guard anybody' and that's what I would tell myself. I bring that same attitude to every game I play in."

Hollowell's game is marked by smooth fluidity and a seeming effortlessness in his abilities at times. Patterson is the opposite, a grinder who never backs down and never lets up. His workmanlike, throwback game sometimes makes him overlooked in the talent rich state of Indiana, but his numbers suggest that he clearly shouldn't be. While there are a ton of talented, higher ranked backcourt players in Indiana this year (Marquis Teague, Gary Harris, and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera to name a few), none are stuffing the stat sheet on a game-by-game basis like Patterson.

He recently broke the 1,000 point barrier for his career at Broad Ripple and while his 341 points this season (30th in the state) are impressive, you have to look at the rest of his numbers to fully appreciate his worth. He is currently fifth in the state in steals with 57; no other player in 4A even ranks in the top ten. His 117 rebounds (37 offensive) ranks 61st in the state, not just amongst guards, but among all players. None of the aforementioned guards has more than 90.

What's really food for thought is considering what Patterson's numbers will look like next year when he's a senior and playing in Class 2A instead of 4A? The Rockets recent re-classification will make Patterson one of the state's leading contenders in several statistical categories next year. It's that all-around game that attracted Tom Crean and the Hoosiers to Patterson in the summer before his freshman year and has other programs wishing he was still on the board.

"They told me I could shoot the ball and play good defense basically," Pattesron said of his earliest discussions with the IU staff. "I get a lot of deflections and just cause a lot of problems on defense. I like to really get up on my guy defensively and be the first one to a loose ball. They like my athleticism."

How he fits in at Indiana will be determined later, but the Hoosiers know his superior athleticism will allow him to be versatile.

"I think I'm a combo guard at Indiana," said Patterson. "I can play both and it doesn't really matter to me where they put me. This year I've been really focusing on learning to see the floor better and get more assists here and there, just trying to create more."

That will certainly help Patterson develop into a better player at the next level, but the emphasis remains on Patterson's best trait—being a frightening match-up for any player, regardless of their ability or status.

"You have to be dedicated to shutting your man down and tell yourself that he is not going to score on you," said Patterson. "I like to use my physicality, but it's also a lot about knowing the person you are playing against. You have to know their tendencies and what they are trying to do. That helps a lot."

The Hoosiers perimeter defense will certainly receive a lot of help when Patterson arrives in the fall of 2012. Until then he focuses on more immediate concerns.

"We want to win state this year, that's our goal and our attitude," said Patterson. "We want to win it next year, too. Winning it in two classes (4A and 2A) would be pretty cool. I don't know if it's been done before."

A steep task for sure, but Patterson has long thrived on meeting bigger challenges. Top Stories