DEMAREE: Logistics, distance and Patterson

One thing about the Patrick Patterson saga, distance importance is an oxymoron. To Patterson and his family, distance was everything but to the UK fans, judging by the throng of Kentucky fans present at Patterson's signing, distance was nothing.

For the Kentucky fan, one can imagine their favorite R&B song playing in their vehicle during the trip to Huntington, West Virginia, Marvin Gay's lyrics, "ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough, ain't no river wide enough to keep me from getting to you (Patrick) babe." Given the present gas prices, that was never more evident - the fans went to get their man. Patterson said he had made up his mind the night before but in the event he was still in limbo when he went to the podium, perhaps the big blue faithful present could've helped him make his decision.

On the flip-side of the scenario, distance was extremely important to the mother and many of his family members because the relatively short trek to Lexington to watch Patterson play was all important in the final decision to cast his lot with the University of Kentucky.

To UK coach Billy Gillispie there wasn't some doubt leading up to the signing, there was total doubt in the signing of Patterson. "This is like being a bubble team and seeing your name appear on the screen on selection Sunday," Gillispie said. The coach talked about the affinity with the fans being a huge factor and dating all the way back to when he first played in Memorial Coliseum. Patterson was taken aback by it all. "The atmosphere was crazy. I knew it would be because I talked to a couple of UK fans that would be at the game and they told me it would be," he said.

When asked about the logistics of the situation being a big assist, Gillispie responded – "Absolutely, that's what they said and it seemed to be something we wanted to build upon. I think with everything being equal, in most situations, I think players want to stay as close to home as possible so that not only their family but there friends and there communities where they have formed relations. I think if everything else is equal with the school, the major that they want, the basketball, the playing opportunity, all those kind of things, you usually have an advantage. It doesn't mean you are going to get them all but usually have an advantage with the ones that are closer to home. And I think that is why people try to take care of home first."

Anxiety and overzealousness of fans led some of them to get quite irritated with Patterson. However in this case Gillispie said that it worked to UK's benefit that Patterson drew out his signing to the last day of the signing period. He said it allowed the staff more time to rebuild the relationships with Patterson and his family that Tubby Smith had already built.

Why was Duke eliminated? In that same post-game press conference when Huntington played Lexington Catholic in Memorial coliseum, when talking about the Duke arena, he said he knows it is a historic arena but it's old type look is not particularly attractive to him.

Now that Patterson is in the fold, Gillispie started working on filling out his staff last night and expects to have that completed in the next two weeks.


AllWildcats Top Stories