Patrick then donned a "UK" hat to the cheers of the crowd then bowed his head, seemingly moved by the moment which had to represent the tremendous weight that had been lifted from his shoulders. "He's a Wildcat," added his mother, seated to his right. "That's right," said his father, seated to his left.
In the end, of all the factors that weighed in on his decision, Patterson said that Kentucky's proximity to his home in West Virginia as a major factor in his final decision. "It's very close to my home," Patterson said, "and my family can come and see me play and I can get home easily when I need to."
In the end, it came down to UK and Florida and Florida was just "too far away. I really wanted to stay close to home," he said.
Patterson said that his friends were imploring him to go to one school or another, "Jai Lucas was calling me every day last week and urging me to go to Florida (where he had just committed) and Alex Legion was calling me asking me to go to Kentucky. Both schools are rich in tradition. But Kentucky is just much closer to home."
"I always liked UK and it really puts a smile on my face to see all the Kentucky fans out here today," Patterson said to cheers. He then turned to his mother who was tearing me, "I told you not to cry," he said to his mother, "now you are going to make me cry."
The Patterson commitment punctuates an extremely successful beginning to the new Billy Clyde Gillispie era. Just days after he arrived on campus, Gillispie landed his first blue chipper, Alex Legion, one of the best guards in the 2007 class. Today's commitment, however, was the crowning achievement, filling Kentucky's desperate need for a quality big man that can contribute right away.
"Coach Gillispie did a great job at Texas A&M while he was there," said Patterson, "he really turned that program around. He told me that I would really be called on to contribute right away."
The decision process was a difficult one, according to Patterson. "He doesn't want to let anyone down," his mother said, "And I just asked him, ‘Is Kentucky where you really want to go?' and he said yes."
"Obviously turning down Coach K(rzyzewski, Duke) and Coach (Billy) Donovan is a very difficult thing but I think this is the best decision for me," Patterson said.
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