Fan criticism motivates Patterson

Knowing North Carolina is ranked No. 1 provides plenty of motivation for Kentucky freshman Patrick Patterson. However, UK's own fans are also helping motivate him for Saturday's game by what they are saying about the Wildcats.

"People are going to say the previous teams we have played are no match for UNC, but they were still great collegiate teams and you can't overlook anybody at this level," Patterson said.

"People are out there saying this is the worst Kentucky basketball team in the history of Kentucky."

Who is saying that to you?

"Fans, people around campus, when you are walking in restaurants and stuff like that. I have heard people say stuff about the Kentucky basketball team losing to Gardner-Webb and saying Kentucky hasn't lost to a mid-major school since 2001 or something like that," Patterson said. "I have heard people saying this is worst team or that we are not doing anything. On Facebook, they have stuff about Coach (Billy Gillispie).

"People are always going to talk, but we still have something to prove. People want to doubt us, but we are a team. We are a family. We can come out and compete with UNC."

But are fans saying those things about UK knowing that Patterson is listening?

"That is a good question. I mean maybe they do, maybe they don't. But fact is they still say it," he said.

So is that motivation for Saturday?

"It is a big motivation. I don't say anything to them. I just let them talk. Me saying something back to them is not going to change their minds. Me saying something back is not going to solve anything. It is their opinion and how they feel, but I feel like we have something to prove and we will," Patterson said.

Kentucky did make national headlines when it lost to Gardner-Webb. Of course, beating North Carolina would give UK a much more wanted kind of national headlines.

"That is true. This is our turn to make national news again and come back and beat UNC," Patterson said.

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