Former Kentucky star Patrick Patterson decided to forego his senior season to enter the NBA Draft, where he is projected as a first-round pick. In the second installment of his diary, the 6-foot-9, 235-pounder from Huntington, W.Va., describes his expectations for draft night in New York.
Hello, world! I'm in New York City right now for the draft, and I won't lie, I'm nervous. It's a surreal feeling because I'm about to realize my dreams Thursday night, but it's also nerve-racking because I don't know where I'm going to go in the draft.
My last workout was in Detroit [which has the No. 7 pick], and I think it was my best one so far. I went up against Cole Aldrich and Ekpe Udoh, and I think I won pretty much every drill. I was stopping them, and I felt like I couldn't be stopped on the offensive end. I was shooting well, and it was a better workout than normal. Because there were only three of us, we got more reps in the drills.
The Pistons people gave me great feedback, saying they liked me and they were impressed with my skills and professionalism. They even complimented me on my vocabulary and my communication skills. But most teams I worked out for said the same thing, so it's tough to tell which ones like me enough to draft me.
I would be disappointed if I didn't go in the first round. If it gets to pick No. 20 and I'm still sitting there, I'll be worried. I would probably start to get fidgety. Hopefully, all five of us Kentucky guys go in the first round. That would be a great accomplishment, to set history like that for UK.
Man, I was glad to be done with all the workouts. I finally got to go home to Cincinnati for a quick visit with my family earlier this week. I can't explain how good a feeling it was to sleep in my own bed. I was so happy to get some home-cooked food for once. My pop makes awesome pasta, usually with sausage or shrimp, and I had some of my family's famous corn bread and apple pie, too.
I went to the local barbershop for a quick haircut, but mostly when I was home, I was on my couch resting. I got to watch some of the World Cup, which I love. I can't believe the way the referees are hating on the U.S. team, though. I think the rest of the world just doesn't want us to take over soccer the way we dominate basketball. Otherwise, what's left for Europe? Rugby?
Anyway, like I said, I really have no idea what team I'll end up with. I'm no expert, but if I were doing a mock draft, my top five guys would be John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, me, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton. Ha!
Seriously, though, one guy who surprised me was Craig Brackins from Iowa State. I played against him in New Orleans. He's about an inch taller than me but he can really shoot the ball -- turnarounds, fadeaways, he's got it all. Keep an eye out for him ... and me.
I have my draft-night suit picked out and hanging in my hotel closet, but I'm keeping it a secret until showtime. I want to win best-dressed at the draft. I'm guessing my stiffest competition is going to be John, Wes Johnson and Evan Turner, but I think I can win. Then again, next time I check in, I'll have a new set of work clothes. Wish me luck!