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By LARRY VAUGHT
If there is one plus for KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Patrick Patterson going into ThursdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s NBA draft, it would be that teams donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to speculate about what he can do or might do.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He has been in college for three years. He is a known commodity,Ã¢â‚¬Â said ESPN draft analyst Fran Fraschilla, a former college head coach. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You know what you are getting. You are making a judgment when you pick a guy as to how his whole body of work translates to the NBA. There are guys like Patterson helping teams as rotation players who are winning games for teams.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Another ESPN draft analyst, Jay Bilas, also thinks teams like knowing what Patterson will add based on watching him play for three years.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He really improved his face-up game and ability to knock down perimeter shots (last season),Ã¢â‚¬Â Bilas said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Where he is most valuable is he is a good offensive rebounder and can finish around the basket and does the dirty work. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a very good defender. He has a wing span of 7-1. He keeps his mouth shut, goes to work and I like him.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He can improve his shooting and his free throw shooting needs to get better, and will. I do think he needs to do a better job guarding on the perimeter. He will have to guard face-up fours (power forwards) and some pick-and-roll action.Ã¢â‚¬Â
However, Bilas says teams know Patterson is a blue-chip investment.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Patrick is more stable. You know what you are going to get,Ã¢â‚¬Â Bilas said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you are buying stock, Patrick is kind of the Coca-Cola stock. He will give you a consistent rate of return. He is solid. You know what you are getting.Ã¢â‚¬Â