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The Implications Of Patterson

Posted by Matt on May 18, 2007

patterson2.jpg

And just like that, it was over. The man who kept the Big Blue Nation on the edge of their seat for days, weeks, months, and even years, finally made his choice: The University of Kentucky. In a mere moment, the losses occurred on “Black Monday” just two days prior were not even a blurb on the radar and almost instantly, were all but forgotten.

There are not words that describe the importance of taking Patrick Patterson from the University of Florida. If Patrick chooses Florida, he joins an already Top-5 recruiting class and leaves Kentucky with their then-ranked recruiting class of 96th. Patterson joins the University of Kentucky and instantly, their recruiting class breaks in to the Top 25 on Rivals.com.

Furthermore, Kentucky went on the national stage with one of the most highly-touted recruits in some time and took down the evil forces of Duke and Florida. This proves, once again, that Kentucky will be a forced to be reckoned with in the recruiting world. Coach Gillispie has truly turned a corner.

Taking a look back at the week’s events, there are some questions worth asking and even if the answers are not apparent, it is interesting to speculate.

  1. What would have happened if Beas Hamga and Michael Sanchez DID commit to Kentucky on Monday? Does a sudden influx of big men affect Patterson’s decision, if even a little? It was a well known opinion that his decision seemed to fluctuate by the minute and it is possible that some facets of “Black Monday” may have helped us.
  2. Considering the unexpectedness of the decisions of Hamga and Sanchez, and seemingly coincidental manner in which the choices were made, it is worth wondering if Coach Gillispie contacted the two, or at minimum Sanchez, and told them “thanks, but no thanks” because a Patterson signature was imminent? Did the Kentucky brass have some sort of comfort about the situation as early as Monday, and that is what lead to all of this?
  3. What happens if Jai Lucas waits to make his decision until AFTER Patterson commits, does he suddenly have a change of heart and makes the move to Lexington? It was well documented that Lucas and Patterson would have liked to play together, but it is possible that Lucas was far more enchanted with the idea than was Patterson. Furthermore, did the Lucas committal to Florida seal the deal for Kentucky because Patterson did not want look like a follower?

These are all fun, interesting questions but at the end of the day I guess it is better to not over think things as we landed Patrick Patterson and we should all just be happy with his decision. It seems as if the biggest reason was family and considering Lexington is just over two hours from Hunington, West Virginia, it will make it easy for Patterson’s friends and family to come watch him play.

Additionally, not enough credit can be given to Coach Gillispie and his staff. According to Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio, during the McDonald’s All-American game, Patrick’s Mother said that Kentucky was then a lame duck with the exit of Coach Tubby Smith. Just over a month later, Gillispie did the recruiting work that usually takes months, if not a year or more. The Big Blue Nation can be thankful to the Patterson family for waiting until the end of recruitment to allow Coach Gillispie to plead his case; and successfully so.

The future looks bright in Lexington as there is now a core to our team, something to build around. Hopefully this is one of many McDonald’s All-Americans that will attend Kentucky under the tutelage of Billy Gillispie and know this:

Kentucky is back.

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