When Kentucky sophomore forward Patrick Patterson met new coach John Calipari with the rest of his teammates at the Joe B. Hall Wildcat Lodge on campus Tuesday morning, he said he was impressed.
"He talked about walking the campus the night before and looking at his new home," said Patterson, who averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game last season under former coach Billy Gillispie. "Even when it started to rain, he said he kept on walking."
There is no doubt the Wildcats faithful expect their new rainmaker to convince Patterson to return next season. "I'm still not sure," Patterson told SI.com when asked if he would return for his junior season or declare for June's NBA draft. "I have no problems with coach, I just want to speak with my family and talk about it."
Having lived in the shadows of teammate O.J. Mayo at Huntington (W.Va.) High, Patterson emerged as one of the top post players in the country the last two seasons. Paired with guard Jodie Meeks, who is also weighing his draft options, Patterson would offer Calipari a firm, veteran base to build his new program around. "We haven't talked that much [about the draft]," Patterson said when asked if he was in communication with Meeks about his plans.
According to draftexpress.com, Patterson is currently expected to be the No. 22 pick in the draft's first round. Meeks is listed as the second pick of the second round.