Year may not change Patterson's draft status

Patrick Patterson followed his heart and came back to Kentucky for his junior season rather than going to the NBA in hopes of graduating, contending for a national championship and improving his draft status.

One NBA scout says there's nothing wrong with completing the education or wanting to be on a national championship contender. However, he's not sure Patterson can dramatically raise his draft stock.

"He was going to be a top 20 pick if he stayed in the draft this year. It was just a matter of exactly where he fell," said the scout who asked not to be identified. "He could have got a lot of money by staying in the draft. I actually thought he would stay in and get the big bucks.

"But he made the decision he wanted, and that's fine. But I just don't know if that will make a big difference in where he goes next year in the draft."

Why not? Can't Patterson show NBA scouts that he's a more versatile player than he was allowed to exhibit playing for Billy Gillispie the last two years?

"I think Pat is who he is and he will get better and better as his NBA career goes on," the scout said. "If you work, you get better. And we all know Pat will work.

"But he's a 6-8 guy who thrives inside. Is he going to become a 6-8 wing player who can pull up and hit a 3-pointer and handle the ball on the fast break in a year? I don't think so. He is who he is and what he is is a d**n good player.

"I think he'll be in the top 20 in the draft again next year. He can still sign for $4 million and if he plays his cards right, he'll have a great career because he's a hard worker and great kid. But I just don't see him becoming a top five or top 10 pick next year just because he decided to play a year for John Calipari."

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