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By LARRY VAUGHT
Florida coach Billy Donovan tried his best to recurit Patrick Patterson to play for the Gators Ã¢â‚¬â€ and almost got him.
Donovan also remained one of PattersonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s biggest supporters during his three years at UK and knows not having him next year is a major loss for Kentucky.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Any time you lose a good player it hurts your team. He had an outstanding career. He played for two different coaches,Ã¢â‚¬Â Donovan said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Two years he played in the low post and was very dominat and then John (Calipari) this year gave him the opportunity to step away from the basket and he showed he had the ability to do that.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He had to play through two coaches, but he truly showed his greatness and flourished in two completely different styles. When you are talking about great players, they will be a great player in any system and he was.Ã¢â‚¬Â
What made Patterson so good?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He played very, very fearlessly. He was a physical, powerful presence in our league. He played with great passion,Ã¢â‚¬Â Donovan said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“That is a valuable commodity. That is also a skill and talent.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When you lost it, it can change your team. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know how his loss will impact Kentucky, but I admired how hard he played and competed. I felt Patrick always gave his all out there.Ã¢â‚¬Â