Last season Patrick Patterson and his teammates at Kentucky hosted South Carolina in Rupp Arena on the final day of January. The Cats were 5-1 in the SEC, and ranked #24. South Carolina left Rupp Arena with a 78-77 win on the back of a diminutive point guard named Devan Downey. Kentucky would later lose to South Carolina in Columbia in a very ugly game for the Big Blue Faithful.
It is late January once again, much has changed in the Big Blue Nation. The Cats are undefeated on the season and ranked number one in both polls.
Patterson, the heart and soul of the Wildcats, was asked what it would be like to return to South Carolina after last season's loss.
The Kentucky junior forward said, "They have a different team, and we have a different team. In our minds, especially people who played here last year, it is a constant replay of what happened. Their team scoring on every shot, them blocking all our shots, and definitely my play. It is still in my mind how we played, but like I said, they have a different team, and we have a different team. We will just go down there with a different game plan, and hopefully come back with a win."
Will Patterson and his Kentucky teammates be able to exploit their size advantage in the paint?
"Hopefully we can," said Patterson. "We are a bigger team; we know we have a lot more size, and more weight. It is just about taking advantage of our advantages, and just wanting it more than they do and coming back with a win."
Patterson has the image of Downey's game winning shot in the paint in Rupp indelibly imprinted in his memory, as well as the way USC dominated the Cats in Columbia.
"Every time I think of South Carolina I think of Devan Downey, and his step back shot over Jodie (Meeks) when we played them (in Lexington), and it was just a total team effort against us when we played them (in Columbia). Those two were the main memories I had, especially since it was just last year. Hopefully we can change what's in our mind, and play better than they do and bring back a win."
Will Patterson be conscious of where Devan Downey is, even though he's not guarding him?
"Definitely. We know they run a bunch of 1-5 screens; they have five man setups; they run plays with him coming off of screens, coming off curls, we know he is the number one factor on that team, so wherever when he is on the court; it is going to take a total team effort and all five of us to stop him."
How does the Kentucky big man think John Wall will match up with Downey? Last season Downey blew by Kentucky guards unmolested.
"I think he matches up great. He and Eric (Bledsoe) are both extremely quick, and are very fast getting down the court, and they play great defense," said Patterson. "I think John and Eric will play great defense on him, plus DeAndre (Liggins) has been coming along so far this season, plus we have great defense off the bench. So we have three people that can play with him."
Patterson discusses Devan Downey and USC
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