VAUGHT: Patterson's drive, desire special

Leon Smith, UK's assistant athletics director for men's basketball, says it is not hard to distinguish what makes Patrick Patterson a special player.

"Just his drive and desire. It is almost like he has a very serious mindset for being a guy so young," Smith said. "You have some guys that tend to be very playful, very jovial in the way they present themselves. He presents himself from the first time you meet him as a man. That's the way he is with everything. He is business-like in everything he does, and that's a big difference between him and other young players I have seen." So is he too perfect?

"When you talk about what you see is what you get, that defines Patrick Patterson. That's how he is and has been from day one. He's exactly as good as he seems to be," Smith said.

What about off the court? Any problems getting him to class, tutor sessions, team meetings, etc?

"He approaches his personal life the same way he does his basketball life. He is on time for everything and does what you ask him to do. You don't have to remind him about anything. He does things the right way. Once you tell him something, you know it will be done," said Smith.

Considering Patterson is only a freshman, Smith knows his future leadership potential is unlimited.

"I don't really think there is a cap on it when it comes to his leadership," Smith said. "He still has room to improve, as all players do. But I think he is going to be a very, very special guy when he leaves Kentucky."

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