VAUGHT: Patterson, Lucas impress Wright

South Laurel coach Steve Wright had to be disappointed this season when Kentucky chose not to over his star guard, Ty Proffitt, a scholarship. Instead, Proffitt signed with Notre Dame. However, that didn't keep Wright from doing his part to help the Wildcats during his time as co-coach of the East team in the McDonald's All-American Game.

Wright got to know UK recruits Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas and often joked with them about where they were going to school. But he also found time to provide some serious information for both about Kentucky.

"I told them both very simply that there is nothing like Kentucky basketball. I personally loved Tubby Smith and thought he was a great guy, but I told them they will get the best coach available in America and you will never do anything better than play at Kentucky. I did tell them that," Wright said.

The veteran South Laurel coach had Patterson on his team and was impressed.

"Patrick is a very hard worker and understands how to play and how to win. He worked hard all week in practice and was fun to be around," Wright said. "He doesn't like press conferences and all the limelight at all. I would say, ‘Do you want me to call the media over here?' He would say, ‘Don't do that to me coach.' But he's in a good position and will come up with what he wants.

"He is a very good kid to be around and he's going to make somebody a very good player. He's very, very skilled and has great size. Sometimes in a game like this an inside player will get overlooked because it tends to be more of a show on the perimeter. That's just part of it. He was kind of quiet most of the week, but he's a fun guy and his teammates really liked him."

What about Lucas?

"I didn't get to be with Jai as much because he was on the other team. I am going to tell you, he is a much better player than I thought he was. He is really smart with the ball. He gave us a lot of trouble tonight," Wright said. "He has that air underneath his shoes. His feet don't even touch the ground sometimes. He has great quickness and really handles the ball up and down the court. He's going to be a terrific college player, too. The more I watched him, the more I liked him.


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