GBW Road Trip: Patrick Beverley - Part Three

GoBlueWolverine hit the road for Chicago a few weeks back to check out Patrick Beverley in action on the hardwood. In PART ONE we gave a scouting report detailing this talented combo guard's broad talents. In PART TWO we talked with Marshall Coach Lamont Bryant tow get his impressions of his star pupil. Now in PART THREE we talk to the young man himself about leadership, the factors in his college choice, and his feelings about Michigan. A visit date to Ann Arbor has been set.

For those that missed parts one and two of GoBlueWolverines feature on Patrick Beverley, click the following links:
GBW Road Trip: Patrick Beverley - Part One
GBW Road Trip: Patrick Beverley - Part Two

Some young men are born leaders, some learn to become leaders, and others have leadership thrust upon them. In the case of Chicago Marshall's Patrick Beverley, he is a natural born leader. The 6-2 175-pound combo guard's presence on the floor is assuring to his young squad. Whether it is a big bucket, some words of encouragement, or words of disapproval, he leads in a way that a team's best player should.

"Being a leader is big," Beverley said. "I have to let our guys know if one of us gets into it, then we all are in it together. My guys believe in me. They believe that we are in this together and that I am going to be there for them…and I know they are going to be there for me. I let them know we have to do the little extra things like diving out of bounds for loose balls. It is all about a team effort. One person can't win a game by himself. I am proud of my guys and our young guys have been playing there butts off this year."

The seriousness with which he values his role became extremely evident very early in his conversation with GoBlueWolverine. One customary question often thrown at recruits is, "name any four players in the country that you would like to play with if you had the chance." Beverley wasted little time delivering his answer.

"I can't do that," he said. "I already have teammates. There are some very good players in Chicago, but the guys I play with are the guys I am rolling with. I like playing with my guys. This is my family. I will stick with them. Mike Stovall who is a junior, Darrius Smith who is a freshman, Ryan Hope who is a sophomore and Darrius Gaters who is a senior that just signed with Northern Illinois. I might sound biased but I will take those guys and go up against anybody. Like I said, that is my family."

A crowd of onlookers got a dose of just how deep Beverley's sense of leadership and loyalty is a few weeks back when his squad faced off with cross-town rival Crane, and their star guard Sherron Collins. Beverley came to the defense of one of his teammates and ultimately ended up in a stare-down at center court with the 5-star Kansas commit.

"It initially started when the freshman blocked Collins' shot," said Beverley's mother to GoBlueWolverine's Sam Webb after the game. "Collins got mad and flared up at the boy. Patrick stepped in and said, 'nah we're not going to do that. You're not going to be punking him.' I guess Sherron got mad that Patrick got in his way because he said, "&%*@$#, I'm an All-American!" So Patrick said, "&%*@$#, I'm an All-American too! That's when Sherron started talking about, 'I'll beat your (butt).' Patrick just said, 'well do what you gotta do.' That's when the referee stepped in to make them shake hands, but they wouldn't."

Despite the rise of his profile in recent months, it is clear that Beverley has never put himself above the team. As a matter of fact, he is trying to bring many of them along for the ride. "If we continue to win, we all will get noticed and get our shine on," he said. "I didn't' know it was going to be like this with all of the attention and everything. Sometimes I feel like I am under a microscope, but that is fine. I just need to be around the right crowd and everything will work out fine".

With his team still alive in the playoffs, Beverley continues to place most of his focus on his season. However, from time to time he has thought about what it will be like at the next level and what it will mean to his mother. "She is behind me 100%," Beverley said. "This is the person that is in my corner no matter what I do. Her love for me is always going to be there. Me going to college is going to mean a lot to her."

When it comes time to select a school, the traits he is looking for that program to have should come as no surprise. "The program that I select has to have a family type atmosphere because that is what I am used to here at Marshall," Beverley explained. "We are a family. I need a family environment. I need a coach that I can relate to and the opportunity to play. I also need to be able to push my teammates and to have fun with them even when we are competing against each other. Education is a big factor as well. It will help me later on in life."

Michigan headman Tommy Amaker and assistant Mike Jackson have made a strong pitch on Michigan's behalf in recent months. Beverley will be looking to see if the qualities he desires in a program are present in Ann Arbor when he visits March 4th for the game versus Indiana.

"Coach Jackson told me when I first talked to him that other coaches well tell me they want me for a particular position, but he told me that Michigan NEEDS me," Beverley said. "They have a need for me there. No other school has told me that. Me and Coach Jackson are building a very good relationship. He has been to several games and practices. Coach Amaker has been to three of my games already. I am looking forward to talking to him on my visit. I want to know if you have a problem that can you talk to the coaches about it. I want to know if we are losing, how will we handle it. If it is negative, then let's turn it into a positive. I will be asking a lot of questions when I get to Ann Arbor."

Part of Michigan's allure for Beverley is their belief that he can help them take the next step. He recalls what it was like when the Maize and Blue is on top and sometimes wonders if he is supposed to help them get back there. "I use to watch the Fab Five," he said. "Michigan was the school that stood when those guys were there. Tai Streets (former Michigan wide receiver) is my AUU coach and I asked him to ask around about how long Coach Amaker would be around. He told me not to worry… that Coach Amaker would be there for a while. Coach Streets is an alum of Michigan, so why not ask him questions about them? Everything happens for a reason. With Coach Streets being from Michigan and him being my coach…maybe god is trying to tell me something."

Sam Webb contributed to this article.

For those that missed parts one and two of GoBlueWolverines feature on Patrick Beverley, click the following links:
GBW Road Trip: Patrick Beverley - Part One
GBW Road Trip: Patrick Beverley - Part Two

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