Patterson Hits Home Stretch

For well over a year, Huntington (W.Va.) power forward Patrick Patterson has been one of the most coveted recruits for the class of 2007. To this day, he remains the nation's top unsigned recruit.

With the late signing period beginning in less than a month, Patterson appears to be closer to making a final decision on where he'll be playing his college ball.

As of now, Patterson still has six schools in mind: Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, Wake Forest, and West Virginia. That soon will change, as half of the remaining six schools vying for his services will be told 'Thanks, but not thanks' by the big man.

"Within a week, I'm going to narrow it down to three schools," Patterson said. "Then, I'll go from there and decide in April."

For much of the recruiting process, Patterson has not seemed to be in much of a hurry when it came to making a decision. He's already taken all five of his official visits, and has visited the West Virginia campus several times as well. Though he says he's enjoyed the ride as a high-profile recruit, he also admits that he's just about ready to make his final decision.

"Pretty much, yeah," he said when asked if he was ready to wrap up the whole recruiting process. "It's been great. I've met a lot of cool people, and talked to a lot of coaches that I never imagined myself talking to. I've been recruited by a lot of colleges. It's a blessing. This only happens once in your lifetime, so you've just got to cherish it."

Patterson's Huntington Highlanders are winding down their season, and with it the high school careers of Patterson and teammates Bruce Senior, Jamaal Williams, Mike Taylor, Oklahoma signee Chris Early and USC signee O.J. Mayo. Saturday night, the Highlanders will be looking to win their third consecutive Class AAA state championship, becoming the first AAA team to do so in West Virginia history.

Just three short years ago (or so it seems), Patterson and company were losing in the semi-finals to perrenial power Woodrow Wilson. At the time, Patterson says he never imagined that the past few years would unfold like they have both for his team and for himself.

"Since my freshman year, I never envisioned this. I never envisioned the type of player that I've developed into, or having O.J. with us for our senior year."

Friday night's lopsided win over Bridgeport wasn't Patterson's most impressive game, at least from a statistical standpoint. Battling foul trouble for much of the contest, he managed to finish the game with 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, a pair of blocked shots, and two steals. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski was in attendance, flanked by Blue Devils associate head coach Johnny Dawkins and assistant coach Chris Collins. West Virginia's John Beilein was also in attendance, along with assistants Matt Brown and Jerry Dunn.

Though Patterson's high school career will come to an end on Saturday night, it looks as though he is somewhat closer to deciding where he'll be playing his basketball next year.


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