Fall Visits the Plan for Patterson

There are two more AAU tournaments left on Patrick Patterson's summer schedule and then he'll have time to do some things he really wants and needs to do --- things like getting serious in the weight room and more importantly, things like seriously thinking about where he's going to be playing college basketball in 2007. Right now, there's just no time to figure that out.

His schedule has been filled with camps and AAU tournaments since the spring, but only the AAU Super Showcase (July 23-26) and then the AAU Nationals (July 27-August 1), both at the Walt Disney World sports complex in Orlando, remain on the agenda. He plays for the Boo Williams team based out of Virginia, a team that's quite capable of putting together a championship run. He helped Boo Williams make the final four of the Nike Peach Jam just last week in North Augusta, S.C. and only three points stood in the way of a berth in the championship game.

At every stop along the way, he's been watched carefully by head coaches and assistants from nearly every big time program in the country. Even though he won't come right out and name a final five, most experts think Kentucky, Wake Forest, Florida and Duke will make the cut. North Carolina has been making a strong recent push and no one would be surprised if that's one of the final five.

The teams that do make the final list will be decided upon in August.

"I'll use that as a thinking time and then I'll start taking visits in September," said the 6-8, 235-pound intimidator that wows crowds with his shot blocking and rebounding.

He plans to complete the recruiting process during the early signing period in November, but before he gets there, he will take advantage of five weekend visits on college campuses.

"I'm going to take all five official visits," he said. "I really couldn't name all five right now, but I'll make that decision and then I'll take all of them."

He is using this time before the last two AAU tournaments to work out daily at the Huntington (WVa.) YMCA, where he is concentrating on improving his jump shot, improving his ball handling and hitting the weight room. His goal is to get his bench press over 300 pounds by the time his high school season starts in November.

The decision about which schools to visit will be a team effort that includes his dad, Big Pat, and his mother, Tywanna. Tywanna Patterson has become a real student of the recruiting process, also. She admits that she tends to look at things the way that only a mother can.

"You know how mothers are," she said. "We nurture our boys. Daddies have that relationship with the girls but mama's are almost always closer with the boys. Imagine there's Patrick and he's 6-8 and someone saying 'You're still a baby.' Well, he might not want me to say something like this, but I don't care how big he gets, he's still my baby and he's always going to be my baby."

Because most of the schools that Patrick is considering are a pretty good distance from their West Virginia home, she wants to be doubly sure that she sees eye to eye with a coach that understands their goals and priorities. Patrick has a 3.5 GPA and it's always been no grades, no play at his home.

"First off, the coach needs to be concerned with his academics," said Tywanna Patterson, "and that means more than just talking about them. We need to see a serious commitment to players getting their degree.

"Secondly, the coach needs to be the kind that relates well to all his players. I want to see how he relates and how the players relate to him. We're turning him over to someone for four years and whoever that is needs to be someone that thinks of Patrick as something more than just a basketball player that's helping to win games."

Patrick Patterson Profile

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