After a slow start by Patterson's standards, that seems to be exactly what is happening, too. "I think we are seeing Patrick really start to come along. I think people take it for granted that he was out for six months, so he's just now starting to come on and play like he can," Cyprien said. "His timing and stuff are better and he has better strength in his legs.
Especially this last week, he has been tremendous in practice. He has been really active and I think you will see home come on here really, really quick."
Patterson had an inactive off-season because the stress fracture in his ankle that cut his freshman season short. Even though Patterson insisted the injury would not limit his play this year, Cyprien thinks it did for a short period. "He probably thought in his mind that he would be able to come back and go 100 percent right away, but he had to get his timing back together, and he's doing that now. He has been tremendous to work with, though, because he's never quit working," the Kentucky assistant coach said.
"A lot of it was psychological and it did affect him. Coach (Billy Gillispie) was really good about that and telling him to just let it come and to keep working and putting in the time and it would all come back together for him. I think that really helped him."
Surprisingly, Cyprien says Patterson's attitude has been even better than last year. Considering how team-oriented Patterson was last year and the work ethic he demonstrated, it's hard to fathom that his attitude could be even better this year. "The reason I say that is because we have some new guys and he has had to take up a more active leadership role and voice the things we want to do. He has had to take DeAndre Liggins, Darius Miller, Kevin Galloway and Josh Harrellson under his wings. His leadership ability has improved and he has accepted that as part of his role here," Cyprien said.
"Coach has told him, ‘Pat, this is your team.' With the lack of seniors we have except for Jared (Carter), he has to take that role. He has to step up and be tough on the guys. He has done that. He has got better every day at doing that and that has made us a better team because he can have a way with guys that coaches can't."