Patterson will play Saturday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson will be able to play when the Wildcats hosts Tennessee Tech on Saturday.

The freshman, who is second on the team with 16.4 points per game and leads the Wildcats with 8.1 rebounds per game, did not play in Tuesday's loss to Houston because of a turned ankle.

Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie said that Patterson hasn't missed any practice since sitting out during the Wildcats' 83-69 loss.

"My ankle is fine," Patterson said. "I just tape it up a lot more, but it's not affecting me."

His return is welcome news for Kentucky (4-5), which has lost four straight games for the first time since the 1989-90 season when it dropped five consecutive games during current Louisville head coach Rick Pitino's first year as head coach of the Wildcats.

"We've got a difficult situation coming up," Gillispie said. "It's a team that is coming in with a lot of confidence.

"We definitely lack some confidence. Hopefully we're going to play better than we have."

Led by former Kentucky assistant Mike Sutton, Tennessee Tech (4-7) will be playing its fourth straight road game.

Gillispie cited a lack of leadership at the point guard position as one of the issues plaguing the slumping Wildcats and challenged his players during practice to be more aggressive.

"If you don't fight, you get knocked out," Gillispie said. "We're getting knocked out too much."

Against Houston, Kentucky was helped by the return of sophomore guard Jodie Meeks, who hadn't played since Nov. 7 because of a stress fracture in his pelvic region.

Meeks finished with 21 points and five rebounds in 35 minutes off the bench. Gillispie said Meeks wasn't moving very well during practice Friday, but expected him to play against the Golden Eagles.

"It always helps to have (another scorer) because we haven't shot the ball well," Gillispie said. "We've been very inconsistent.

"I think he's going to be a great shooter for us. It's going to be some time before he's able to do everything that we want him to do."


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