It's been a long climb for Patterson

Junior Patrick Patterson spent his first two campaigns in a Kentucky uniform toiling on mediocre teams. Patterson bypassed the NBA last spring to seek his degree and a title. Today Patterson for the first time in his collegiate career answered questions as a player on the top ranked team in the nation.

It's been a long trek for Patrick Patterson. The Kentucky junior forward spent most of his first two seasons at Kentucky playing for an unranked team.

If any Kentucky player deserves to bask in the glory of being the top ranked team in both polls it is Patterson. Patterson toiled on two very mediocre teams during his first two campaigns, and has yet to play in an NCAA Tournament game.

When asked how it feels to be number one in the nation Patterson said, "It feels good. It is something we have worked on all year to be number one, and we want the respect of others, and I feel like we have earned that now. Everyone is just happy, and we want to continue working hard and just get better."

Kentucky was already the game that the rest of the SEC circled on their schedule. They are the team that draws the opponent's biggest home crowd of the year. They are the team that every opponent plays with the greatest amount of hunger. Could these teams pick it up a notch now that Kentucky is at the top of the polls?

"Definitely, I think so," said Patterson. "Especially since we already have a target on our back being Kentucky, and having John Wall and all these other people on the team, and it is even worse having the number one beside our name. I think it will improve other teams' play, and make them work even harder to try to beat us. We just want to win."

Will the Cats approach opponents differently now that they have attained the number one ranking, knowing the target on their backs has grown larger?

"I figure it will still be the same. The only thing different is that they will probably work a lot harder now, knowing that we are number one. They are going to come out more fired up; we know we are going to get teams' best shots against us, they are going to do things they haven't done before. Every team we play makes shots against us, so we know we are always going to get the opposing team's best shot," said Patterson.

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