Newly minted Oklahoma basketball associate head coach David Patrick has had a whirlwind year.
Porter Moser was able to convince Patrick to join his new staff at OU just a year after Patrick accepted a similar post at Arkansas, but he said the decision wasn’t too hard to join his longtime friend in Norman.
“It wasn’t hard to say no to (Moser), but it was hard to leave Arkansas. But, couldn’t be happier to be at a better place here in Oklahoma,” Patrick told SI Sooners. “It was a little hard to tell my wife ‘Hey, we’re gonna move again,’ here in the span of a year … but when she found out we’re closer to a major city in Oklahoma City, we just thought for our kids it’d be a great move.”
Not only does Patrick bring a wealth of experience coaching in the SEC, which will soon be a necessity for Oklahoma, after stops at LSU and Arkansas, he's had his hand in the Olympic basketball scene as well.
Patrick was named to the Australian National Team’s coaching staff for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Beijing, China, and has been an assistant with the Boomers setup ever since. He said his experience at the international level served him well when he was the head coach at UC Riverside and as an assistant at Arkansas, a trend he hopes to continue at Oklahoma.
“Coaching international basketball, it’s somewhat cutting edge,” he said. “The European teams run so many good things offensively and defensively. Obviously the U.S. is fantastic, but the game’s a global game now. And so what you learn scouting other countries or even preparing with the international team is just different ways to play the game. Some of the concepts aren’t in college basketball and NBA basketball yet.
“It helped me as a head coach when I wanted to defend (at UC Riverside). It helped me with some of the defense at Arkansas, and there’s also some components that I can help here with Coach Moser at Oklahoma.”
Patrick said he also relishes the opportunity to be around established NBA players like Joe Ingles, Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova and Aaron Baynes when he works with Team Australia, as they continue to help him learn as a coach.
“It’s kind of like the teacher is now learning from the pupils,” Patrick said, who coached Mills and Dellavedova at Saint Mary’s. “Now they’re NBA veterans telling me how to guard pick and rolls and how to play in certain situations.
“So the stuff you pick up, especially in that Boomers culture, just the work ethic, the camaraderie, the culture, it kind of sticks out and mirrors what Coach Moser wants to do here at Oklahoma.”
Not only does Patrick’s international experience help him as a coach, it helps continue to bolster his reputation as a great recruiter on the international stage. After helping bring Ben Simmons to LSU, Patrick said he’s discussed with Moser how to capitalize on the rising pool of talent in Australia as the NBL, Australia’s professional basketball league, continues to grow.
“I think OU is not only a national brand, but an international brand, so obviously to play in the Big 12/SEC, you need to play the best,” he said. “(Recruiting Australia) is definitely something we’re gonna look at. We have some guys on our board from that region of the world. The NBA Global Academy has now moved to Australia, which is great.”
Patrick said he most recently tried to bring in Josh Giddey, who was just selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the No. 6-overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, to UC Riverside when he was the head coach there.
“I played with Josh’s dad Warrick back in Australia,” he said. “(Josh) is from my club, so I kind of know him pretty up and close.”
Thunder fans should be excited about the kind of player they’re getting in Giddey, Patrick said.
“He’s an exciting player. He’s not (Luka Doncic), but he’s got some of that flare with him to where I think the fans in OKC are going to be excited to see when he gets on the floor.”
As well as Patrick bringing an international flavor to OU’s recruiting, but he also has plenty of experience recruiting to the SEC, which the Sooners will be playing in as late as the 2025 season.
“Obviously Porter is a great, great basketball mind, but his lay of the land in this area, in this region — he hasn’t been here since he’s been at (Texas A&M) I guess 20 or 30 years ago,” Patrick said. “And so I think my experience in the SEC, in the Big 12 can not only help in recruiting but help him on the floor as well.”
As for right now, Patrick said he’s just enjoying being able to settle in and get acclimated in Norman.
“I’ve always known Oklahoma to be a great athletic department and a great city from afar, but you never know until you’re here,” he said. “My wife and I have been kind of blown away about how nice the people are here and how nice the administration is here.
“I’m just really excited to be here.”
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