Meet the Frosh: Patrick Patterson

Huntington (WVa.) power forward Patrick Patterson shocked the basketball recruiting world somewhat when he committed to the University of Kentucky over Duke and Florida just weeks ago.

The Wildcats, who were in dire need of a front court player in the class of 2007, were the surprise choice after months of speculation that the 6-foot-8, McDonald's All-American was headed to Gainesville.

"He shocked the world, didn't he?" Patterson's father, Buster said following the announcement. "It's a great day for the Pattersons, the community of Huntington and fans of the University of Kentucky."

The fans of the University of Kentucky have not forgotten May 16th. Much like they will most likely not forget the sacrifice Patterson made come Midnight Madness, either.

"It was a fun day," the soft spoken Patrick Patterson said, reminiscing. "I always liked Kentucky from the beginning. Coach (Tubby) Smith did a great job recruiting me and then Coach Gillispie did a good job of selling me on the fact I can get early playing time and contribute immediately."

The final decision, as noted, came down to SEC powers Kentucky and Florida.

"We told him we'd move anywhere for him," Buster Patterson added. "We were set to move to Jacksonville (Fla.) if he wanted to go to Florida, but he wanted to stay here."

"You know, Patrick wasn't born in Huntington, but this has been his home," Buster added. "He's been here for the majority of the time. We could have moved before, but we didn't because Patrick likes it here. People know him here. I think the chance to come back and see his friends and family whenever he wanted was the big deal to him. He wants them to be apart of it."

The McDonald's All-American game participant averaged 17.6 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks per game this past season while playing alongside highly touted guard O.J. Mayo, who signed with USC.

"I just want to help the team be good," Patterson said. "I want to compete for a national championship and get better. I think we have a great incoming class coming in that will help us achieve some of our goals."

Patterson has led Huntington to three consecutive West Virginia state titles.

"I need to work on my post moves on the block," Patterson said. "A lot is going to be expected of me next year offensively, so I need to be prepared to play a lot."

Coach Gillispie likes Patterson's attitude thus far. "Some may say he is flamboyant. I want him to set his goals as high as possible," Gillispie said. "He's not an arrogant person. His family is very humble."

"He seems like a swing for the fences guy, too. I want a whole team of those. I want players who believe in what they can do."

After May 16th's shocking decision, Wildcat fans have come to believe in anything. And soon they will come to believe in its most treasured recruit.

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