Patterson boosts frontcourt depth

With the return of All SEC junior big man Patrick Patterson Kentucky could have one of the top frontcourts in the nation in 2009-2010. A frontcourt that could develop into the top frontcourt in the nation over the course of next season.

New Kentucky coach John Calipari has already signed a class that is considered by some to be the top class in the nation. The return of Patrick Patterson gives Calipari's young group an SEC proven scorer to build an offense around. Patterson will enter next season as a candidate for both conference and national player of the year honors.

Should Kentucky's All-American, Jodie Meeks, choose to return for his senior season the Wildcats would add another experienced scorer, as well as a second conference and national player of the year candidate to add to the mix. The prevailing wisdom is that Meeks will withdraw from the draft, unless he can impress the NBA scouts and executives enough in workouts to make a move into the first round.

Patterson was an All-SEC performer last season, and he was the only player in the SEC to rank in the top five in scoring (17.9 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 rpg). Patterson led the SEC in double-doubles last season with 15, which is the eighth most in a single season in UK history.

Maybe more importantly the return of Patterson gives the team a boost in the veteran leadership department, which will be sorely needed with such a young core group of talented players on the team.

In addition to the leadership Patterson will bring his return makes Kentucky's frontcourt much deeper. The depth comes in both quantity and quality, and could be the top frontcourt in college basketball in 2009-2010. Patterson's primary frontcourt runningmates appear to be junior transer Matt Pilgrim and a pair of top high school big men, DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton.

In addition to the above mentioned quartet Kentucky's lineup could also feature forwards Perry Stevenson, Josh Harrellson and A.J. Stewart. Harrellson is the only one of the trio to give any indication that he wishes to remain at UK.

This group doesn't include senior to be Ramon Harris or sophomore to be Darius Miller, who eached logged minutes at the power forward spot last season when UK went to a smaller lineup.

Coach Calipari is excited about the opportunity to coach Patterson. "In the month that I've been at Kentucky, I've been blown away by Patrick Patterson," Head Coach John Calipari said. "He is one of the nicest individuals I've met and one of the fiercest competitors that I've been around. I'm thrilled I get to coach him next year."

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