Ingram Ready for College

Four members of Iowa's heralded '12 recruiting class showed their games off to local fans in the PTL during June and July. The fifth piece of the group, Patrick Ingram, talks about what he did with his summer in this feature story.

While the rest of his Hawkeye teammates settled into Iowa City this summer, Patrick Ingram did his best to stay involved. He was at home in Indianapolis.

"I talk with Melsahn (Basabe) and Devyn (Marble) a lot," Ingram said. "I got close with them on my official visit. I saw them at the Purdue game last year. I saw them again against IU.

"I feel like I have a good relationship with those guys and I know it will get better."

Ingram and Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery felt it would be best if the incoming freshman missed the summer league in Iowa City. It was a basketball and academic decision, the combo guard said.

Ingram played for an Indiana all-star team that wrapped up a two-game set with Kentucky in early June. It occurred right around the same time as he began sessions at an academic help center.

"It's a program just to keep you on track with grades," the 6-foot-3, 211-pounder said. "They give you extra tutors. I was talking to Coach McCaffery. He said I worked hard to get into that all-star game.

"They were trying to find a time where I could come a little later, but I couldn't (because summer classes had started). Coach McCaffery was telling me that he didn't really want me to miss that. He told me just to come in August."

Ingram said he will move into his Iowa room on August 15.

"I would have loved to have played in the PTL (Iowa City summer league)," he said. "I was talking to my roommate, Anthony Clemmons. I'll get an opportunity to play in it the next year."

Clemmons and fellow incoming freshmen, Adam Woodbury, Mike Gesell and Kyle Meyer were unveiled to local fans in the PTL. It generated quite a bit of talk in Hawkeye circles.

Some Iowa fans may never have heard of Ingram, some of them may have forgotten about him and, at the very least, some folks are unfamiliar with his game.

"It's been going good," Ingram said of his summer. "I've just been working out a lot making sure I keep in shape. I've been running a lot. I'm ready to come in and do all of the conditioning. I've been playing in a lot of games."

Ingram's freedom did allow for an early slip up. He recovered.

"I had gained a lot of weight, lifting," Ingram said. "I wasn't running a lot. I gained like 20 pounds.

"Then I went on a new diet. I was running every day. I was only drinking water; no juice or anything. I was eating a lot of fruit. I was at 220, now I'm at 211."

He's 5-10 pounds from his goal.

"Me and Coach McCaffery made a deal," Ingram said. "He asked me what I thought was a good weight to come in at. I told him around 200, 205.

"I'm hoping I get down to 200 by the time I come (August 15). I think I can do it."

Ingram reports that he also spent a good amount of time working out with former NBA player Fred Jones. Ingram's game as a shorter two guard was how Jones (6-2, 22) made a living.

"He was giving me pointers," Ingram said. "The main thing that I focused on was trying to improve my dribbling skills and my shooting skills. I also feel like a got a better understanding of the game.

"Fred Jones was showing me how to get open and move without the ball and get in defensive position. I feel like my basketball IQ went up."

Ingram also believes that he continued on a path of academic recovery.

"There were years in school where I didn't do what I was supposed to," the North Central High graduate said. "But this last year, my grades were excellent. I have a 3.2 (GPA) and was on the honor roll the whole year."

Ingram said he has qualified academically for college.

"I did the thing this summer because it's just a program to keep you on track and makes sure you're doing that you're supposed to do (academically)," Ingram said.

Ingram made his mark guarding some of the best backcourt men in the Hoosier State. He didn't want to be typecast, however.

"Defense comes first. Defense wins games," Ingram said. "I feel like I'm a scorer as well. I think that separates me from some other guys. Some of them can score and don't play defense. Some of them play defense and don't score. I feel like I can do both."

Things will be a little more crowded in the Iowa guard court for '12-13 than it was a year earlier. Ingram, Gesell and Clemmons join returnees Marble, Josh Oglesby and Eric May, who is more of a three.

Ingram said he felt equally comfortable at the one as he does at the two.

"A lot of people don't think I can play the one, but I feel like it's an easy thing," Ingram said. "To play point guard, you don't have to have a fancy game. You just need to run the floor and be a generator and I feel like I can do that."

Ingram sees a good backcourt partner in Gesell.

"I like to run the floor and get easy lay-ups," Ingram said. "We complement each other because he likes to pass to the runner and I'm a runner. I also know he's a shooter. If I get inside and I don't have it, I can easily kick it out to him and he can get the bucket."

Ingram feels like his game is similar to that of Clemmons even though he's three inches taller.

"With Anthony, I've watched a lot of his highlights," Ingram said. "He's a scoring point guard. He can jump. He can defend. We're pretty much the same.

"If we're guarding Ronnie Johnson or Terone Johnson on Purdue, I know we can keep each other fresh by taking turns defending them."

The Boilermakers' Johnson brothers played at North Central.

Ingram, who is leaning toward a market management major, has a plan to attack his freshman season.

"I don't want to play nervous," he said. "I want to come in with a lot of confidence in my game. I need to do the things that I can do and not the things that aren't in my game."

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