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Patterson Talks About Returning To UK

Patrick Patterson Commented Monday ON His Decision To Return to UK.

On when he made the decision to come back…
“It came a couple of days ago, prior to me announcing it this previous weekend. I just talked to my family, my mom and dad and my teammates. A couple of them didn’t know and they were surprised when they found out about it. I talked to my coaches and asked them how they thought about it and they said that they wanted me to return for next year, but if I want to leave they would support me and be behind me. (Assistant) Coach (John) Robic was 100 percent behind me in helping me with the process, helping me with basketball workouts and scheduling them for me. It came down for me to have an opportunity to get a degree next year, there are not too many people that have that chance to get their degree in three years and that means a lot to me. It also means a lot for me to come back and get the chance to play for Kentucky and hopefully be a top contender and win a national championship. I also like Coach (John) Calipari’s offense and playing for him and (and the thought of) him helping me improve and get better. Those factors played the biggest part in my decision to come back.”

On how many workouts he did…
“Zero. I felt that if I did do workouts, it would not do anything because I knew in my heart that I wanted to come back and play next year. We had set up a couple with a few teams, and by me going out there and doing workouts it wouldn’t prove anything to myself. I know what I need to work on the most and know that by me going out there I would be wasting the coaches’ and teams’ time because I wanted to come back next year.”

On Coach Calipari talking to him about what to expect…
“No, everybody talked to Coach Robic and my family. I wasn’t in contact with anybody as far as that.”

On if anyone told him where he might end up…
“Pretty much just first round, anywhere from 14, 15 to 20, just in that midsection, in that range but guaranteed first round.”

On the importance of his degree and how much of a role his family played in his decision…
“It was real important. I always talked about coming to college to get my degree. It was the first thing I said when I signed with Kentucky coming in my freshman year; I wanted to get my degree. I was concentrating on my degree and my family wanted me to get it. And to have the opportunity to get it in three years was a key factor in me coming back.”

On the incoming recruits influencing his decision to come back…
“Yes. Looking at the team we could possibly have next year, with all the people we have coming in, with Darnell (Dodson), with Daniel (Orton), DeMarcus (Cousins) and (Eric) Bledsoe, all the weapons we have coming in that helped a lot. With the caliber of the team we could have next year and competing for a national title hopefully. And with all the guys coming back, and hopefully Jodie will come back, and the chemistry that we have and can build on. Hopefully we can make a run for Kentucky and bring back a national title next year.”

On if not playing the NCAA Tournament yet was a factor…
“Not as much. I really wasn’t thinking about that, just concentrating on the process so far and just for the team next year. I know that I haven’t played in the NCAA Tournament before. Freshman year I wasn’t able to and last year we didn’t make it. Hopefully this year I will be able to.”

On specific things he is planning on developing this year…
“My ball handling is the first thing. Foot work, foot speed, working on my vertical and lower body strength and overall my jump shot. I know playing for Coach Calipari and the type of offense that he has and that we will run, I will benefit greatly from it.”

On how workouts play a part in getting into the new offense…
“A lot. When we were doing it in the offseason a few months back, we had a lot of fun with it. The atmosphere that we had in practice and in the workouts, it was fun. It showed our whole team basically what we need to work on. Not everybody is 100 percent in ball handling and driving to the basket. By doing this, we will all improve on it and get better in the areas that we need to, especially as big men playing full court style. I think we will all improve on our ball handling and jump shot.”

On his basketball skills…
“I’m starting to show for myself that I can do it, that I can progress in that area, driving the ball to the basket. Fake turnaround, face up, making a move, ball handling, taking my man off the dribble, I’m starting to show progress and that I can excel at doing that.”

On how he was able to be scheduled to graduate early…
“Just summer school and some extra hours during the year. My advisors helped me out with that. I came in during the summer and took classes like a lot of my teammates and also packing on another class or two during the regular school year. With my major I may be able to graduate from school in about three years if I stay on track.”

On why you would want to get through school so quickly…
“The sooner the better. Everybody wants to get their degree. Talking to my advisor, he told me I could possibly get it in three years, depending on how well I did in classes and so far I’m on pace to do that.”











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