VAUGHT: Patterson plays to win

It's not hard to tell after a game whether Kentucky won or lost. Just look at Patrick Patterson. If he has that trademark smile, the Cats won. If he doesn't, the Cats lost and it won't matter how many points or rebounds he had. He was obviously disappointed with Kentucky's play in Saturday's 70-51 loss and didn't see the same improvement that coach Billy Gillispie insisted he saw.

"It was extremely frustrating to play like we did," Patterson said. "After you come off a great week of practice, probably one of the best we have had so far, and then play like this ... Coming into this game, everyone was hyped and anticipating the game would be great. We just played like this and it was an awful feeling." So what went wrong?

"Just team play. Everyone was prepared, but I think that our shots weren't falling, we weren't playing tough enough and the defense wasn't there. We got outrebounded. Overall, it was just a bad performance by us," Patterson said.

At times, it seemed like there was no offense except Patterson.

"It was frustrating at times when the guards can't finish shots or we can't finish shots. You just have to stay calm and level headed. Our shots weren't falling. Towards the end we tried to step it up, but we just got outplayed," Patterson said. "There's no excuse for us not to be a lot better than this."

Patterson surprisingly rated his own performance as "horrible" despite going 6-for-9 from the field and leading UK with 15 points and eight rebounds. He did have five turnovers.

"I had way too many turnovers. My rebounding was not good. I didn't catch the ball well in the post. I didn't finish well in the post. I didn't think I moved well enough in the post for the guards to see me in the post. My performance was bad," Patterson said.

That attitude is why Patterson will be special. He reminds me of several seniors on the Kentucky football team who valued only one thing — winning.

It's not fair to call Patterson another Jamal Mashburn. However, he might be. He's going to be the building block for Gillispie's program. No offense to any older players, but Kentucky's future belongs to Patterson. He can attract other great players. He can help make other players better. He can help Kentucky win.

"I'm not worried about the future or anything except our next game. I wish we had a game right now. When you lose, if you are a competitor, you want to get right back out there and show you are good enough to win," Patterson said.

AllWildcats Top Stories