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Sunday Morning: Wildcats for Brunch

I'm a little slow this morning for some reason in getting to the news, but finally, I have done so.  It is consistently amazing to me (but perhaps it shouldn't be) how many people are writing so many words about the Kentucky Wildcat basketball program with Big Blue Madness still 146 days away.

The Courier-Journal has an article today about UK.  The College Basketball Notebook looks at the Patterson commitment, and contains a couple of interesting quotes that shed more light on the whole process:

As was Buster Patterson, the player's father, who encouraged his son to choose from among UK, Florida and Duke rather than Gillispie, Billy Donovan and Mike Krzyzewski.

"It's always been a business, and I preached that to Patrick," Buster Patterson said. "You go to a school for the school, not the coach. A coach is going to put his family first at the end of the day."


I find this interesting because so many recruits, particularly ones who try to get out of their letters of credit, cite the exact opposite as the reason justifying their de-commitment.  In my view, this adds credence to the argument that the slow-dance by the Pattersons was more an abundance of caution than anything else.  Then, there was this:
"I was a little upset (with) what happened with Tubby, but I was willing to give (Gillispie) a chance, because it had nothing to do with him," Tywanna Patterson said.

I remember several comments Tywanna Patterson made after Smith left that essentially shut the door on Kentucky as a possible destination.  What seems clear to me from all this is that Patrick's mother was all about Smith, and that was the lever Smith was using to try to lure Patterson to UK.  His father was all about business, and Patrick's view was closer to his father's than his mother's, as evidenced by the fact that Patterson never considered going to Minnesota with Smith.  

The addition of close friends and not having to relocate his family was clearly the difference, but one has to wonder which school, Kentucky or Florida, Patterson would have chosen if he lived in Atlanta instead of Huntington.

Jerry Tipton does a redux of this angle we reported last week, as told by Mike Fields on his blog.  Jerry also notes this quip from Patterson:

After much talk of a package deal, Jai Lucas signed with Florida and Patterson with UK. Patterson wished his friend well.

"We'll go head to head," he said, "and in the end, Kentucky will win."


I think Patrick is right on the dot.  I can't wait to find out.

Tipton also reports that Donovan has an answer for a question I asked above about where Patterson would have gone if the distance had been about equal:

"I think Patrick really liked UF," the Florida coach told sportswriter Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun. "He said it in a nutshell. It was a distance issue. If we could have picked up and moved Gainesville to two hours away from Huntington, W.Va., then he probably would have come here. He's a great kid who will have a great career at Kentucky. I wish him well."

Well, maybe.  It is clear that Florida was certainly very close to UK.  We will never know for sure, I guess.  There is lots more in the Tipton article worth reading.

I said in an earlier comment that I thought Gynn Cyprien was "spinning" when he told Matt Jones in an interview the other day that we may sign up to two more players in this class.  Perhaps I was wrong:

The Las Vegas Dogcatchers Elite have already won the unofficial best team name award. And the Sin City team is quickly picking up admirers with their high-energy, non-stop speed and big time wins. Leading the charge is unsigned senior guard Hank Thorns.

The 5-foot-9 from Valley High School has put on a show so far with his jet speed and big shot ability. Paired against Play Hard Play Smart, Thorns put it in the side of the California team with 24 points and matched bucket for bucket with game nemesis Isaiah Thomas.

Thorn, a fully qualified prospect, said Kentucky has turned up the interest in him since Jai Lucas picked Florida. Virginia is waiting to see if Sean Singletary returns to Charlottesville or stays in the draft before deciding on making an offer. Thorns said Old Dominion has offered. After a great start to the action here in Tucson, the senior guard is certainly looking like a player to watch in the late go round.


Finally, the Billy Donovan contract watch continues, and Donovan is declining comment on questions about his NBA interest.