Patterson on future: "I'm half in, half out..."

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky Wildcats forward Patrick Patterson says he hasn't necessarily closed the book on his college career, even though the school announced he was going pro.

"I'm half in and half out right now," Patterson said in an interview with The Associated Press Saturday while he was watching horse races at Keeneland.

Patterson called the decision on whether to leave or stay for a senior season "a tie," adding that he hasn't signed the paperwork to enter the NBA draft so "technically I haven't declared."

He said he was weighing several things, including the talent level of next season's Kentucky team and the possibility of an NBA lockout. Coach John Calipari has encouraged him to return to Kentucky, Patterson said, although he believes he is ready to play at the next level.

Last week, a news release from the university announced Patterson was one of five underclassmen to submit their names for the draft, along with freshman guards John Wall and Eric Bledsoe and freshman centers DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton.

"I want to thank the fans who have supported me all three years," Patterson said in the release. "I also want to thank the coaches for putting me in a position to showcase other parts of my game as well as my versatility. Lexington and UK will always be a special place to me."

If Patterson were to change his mind, it would be the second time in two seasons. After last season under previous coach Billy Gillispie he announced he was entering the NBA draft, then withdrew his name in May. He hadn't hired an agent, allowing him to return under NCAA rules.

Rules prohibit a player from submitting the paperwork to enter the draft and withdrawing a second time, so once he does that this time there is no turning back.

Patterson, who is on track to graduate in three years, went through senior day activities with the team in the season finale at Rupp Arena. He said doing that again had crossed his mind and acknowledged it would be strange.

"It would be kind of weird," he said. "I don't think anybody else has done that before. I'd probably be the first one."

Patterson ranked second in the SEC and 12th nationally this season with a 57.5 percent field goal percentage. He has scored the 13th most points in Kentucky history.

He started at power forward for the Wildcats, who were a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, losing to West Virginia in the regional finals.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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  • by Doc Location: North Port, FL on Apr 14, 2010 at 04:48 PM
    Yes, it would just be awful for UK to lose 3 games every year??!! Is there something in the water these folks drink? This is America! Surely if we allow 18 year olds to enter the Armed Forces, we should allow them to enter the NBA!! Many great players will be eager to come to UK for JUST THIS REASON, the chance to improve, showcase their talent and go to the NBA as soon as they are likely to be a first-round pick and/or get a no-cut contract.
  • by Mark Location: Lexington on Apr 14, 2010 at 09:34 AM
    Ok, lets look at it this way. You are an 19 or 20 year old and someone offers you over a million dollars a year to play basketball. Now think like a kid here, not an adult. Take the money or stay in school...hmmmmm. Lets not blame the kids here, lets blame the NBA. Something should be done to keep these people from enticing these kids with a temptation that at that age none of us here would be able to resist.
  • by kim Location: middlesboro on Apr 13, 2010 at 06:48 PM
    hi my name is kimberly i hope that patterson will stay one more season with the wildcats he is so good and im proud of him i just hope that he stays with the wildcats next year
  • by Micah Location: Berea, Ky on Apr 13, 2010 at 07:55 AM
    I think P atterson should go he earned it, but the other 4 haven't. The NCAA should step in and do something about this. UK is in the same postion that they where last year at this time. Well with Patterson not coming back we are actully worse. I wonder how Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, and Ortin feel about leaving the job unfinished? I hope this isn't a thing that will happen every year.
  • by wildcatfan101 Location: london ky on Apr 11, 2010 at 03:07 PM
    It would be great great for him to stay one more year!!!!! PLEASE STAYYYYYYYYYYY :))))))))
  • by kungfu Location: Ky on Apr 11, 2010 at 07:25 AM
    it would be great to have Patrick for 1 more season! but it's his decision to would be neat to see him do senior day,again! Jared Carter could have done it this year as he had another year of eligibility! if Pat stays he may just get that ncaa championship! that would definitely be great! GO BIG BLUE!!!!!!!!


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