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Editor’s Note: Really an insightful story by Keith Taylor into just what makes Patrick Patterson special and one I think you will enjoy.

By KEITH TAYLOR
ktaylor@winchestersun.com

Patrick Patterson noticed something different when Kentucky got down by 18 in the first half of the Wildcats’ 72-70 triumph over Miami Monday night at Rupp Arena.

Although surrounded by a cast of newcomers, including freshman John Wall who made the game-winner in his collegiate debut, Patterson said the Wildcats didn’t hit the panic button when the RedHawks were on a red-hot streak.

“We had a mindset of not losing,” he said. “We wanted to win. Coach (John Calipari) was constantly getting on us. We weren’t going to lose this game. We were going to keep fighting.”

And they did. Kentucky used and 18-3 run before the half that narrowed the margin to 39-36. The two teams battled back and forth before Wall rescued the Cats for the first time in his career.

Patterson was especially impressed with the way the freshman class, led by Wall, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins, stepped up under pressure. Patterson said the three players displayed a desire to win instead of giving in to Miami.

“Usually younger guys get scared in situations like that when you are down, but they continued to fight and kept battling,” he said.

Patterson said Wall’s heroics brought back memories of last year’s dramatic win over South Carolina. Patterson said he wasn’t surprised by the shot by Wall, who rehearsed similar baskets prior to the contest.

“He was doing that in the shoot around (before the game),” he said. “He was the first one out there on the court working on driving to the basket and hitting pull-up jump shots.”

During the past two seasons, Patterson has witnessed his share of ups and downs in the same circumstance under a different regime. He watched as the Cats folded when faced with a similar scenario a year ago.

“In previous years we have been in situations like (that),” he said. “We’ve had our wins and we’ve had our losses, but this year it feels good to be in a situation like that and come out on top.”

Patterson said the atmosphere on the bench and on the court helped energize the team and led to the successful comeback.

“You could feel the energy from the crowd,” he said. “They were yelling and screaming. When we ran a pick and roll and I was trying to scream out to John (Wall) and Eric (Bledsoe), they couldn’t even hear me. The crowd definitely got us energized.”

Although Patterson admitted he would have preferred an easier contest than the closer-than-expected outcome, he was surprised as Miami made shot after shot from long range. The Redhawks connected on 15 shots from behind the arc, with 10 of those coming in the first half as the guests built a double-digit  lead.

“I was just frustrated,” he said. “I didn’t want to be down. Miami just kept making every shot they put up. They went on a long streak of making everything they put up. “

Calipari admitted following the contest that he didn’t mind a close encounter and wanted to see how his team would respond while facing adversity.

“Coach Cal wanted to see what we were made of when we were down,” he said. “He wanted to see if we were going to fight or give in this early.”

Patterson said the close contest and the exciting finish showed “what we’re made of.”

“It shows we’re tough, we’ll fight and we’ll battle,” he said. “Playing a game like this early in the season will help us in the long run.”

9 Responses to Patterson: We were not going to lose

  • Terry Mason says:

    It is going to be quite the ride till the freshmen settle in and play under control. But there is no denying that they can play and they have heart and a lot of fight in them. Once again Patrick Patterson showed them the way when they were falling apart. I am very glad he turned down the millions that await him in the NBA for one more year. This team running on all cylinders is going to spell doom for a lot of good teams in the SEC. By January this team could well only be beaten by beating themselves.

  • larryvaught says:

    I am with you Terry. Wait too early to get off the UK bandwagon, especially with Cal and Patterson in the front seat. And Wall seems cut from the same mold as Patterson. I actually saw him reminding Patterson to block out on a free throw last night. How many freshmen would be bold enough to do that? Glad to have you posting here

  • TRUBLU69 says:

    You Are so Right TERRY….I still Believe the Half court defense is the true Key to this team…They have to hedge out and stay out until the switch, they get that this team will look alot better…PAT PATTERSON is a beast..expect him to step up and carry this team Deep into March..Real shocker isn’t It ..LOL…Just stay out high make them put it on the floor funnel them to our bigs and board, You will be fine…GO BIG BLUE!!!

  • TrueBlueJohn says:

    The mindset for a team always comes fom its leadership. Last year, we had leadership out on the floor, but I questioned the leadership from the end of the bench. This year I have no doubt about the coaching leadership, and that is why we won’t have games that we lose to Gardner Webb and VMI. The team is always an extension of the coach. Most of these kids come from championship caliber programs, and they know how to win. The coach’s job is to teach and mold them into winners at this level. I believe we have one of the best at doing this.

  • TRUBLU69 says:

    Right on TRUEBLUE JOHN>>> We have the leadership on all fronts..How about the outwardly Passion that Pat showed In that game..WE havn’t seen that out of him,WHY? BG for what ever reason just didn’t get it out of those Kids..You can see Pat Is loveing being the outward leader aswell..WOW!! I Love teams like that..Remember the unforgetables? Keep It up PAT Lead this team Young man In everyway…GO BIG BLUE!!!!

  • KY_Wildcat_AL says:

    For freshmen that are used to easily out-scoring everybody they played against in HS, they showed pure determination in a situation they have never been in before (most likely). Their “no lose” mindset and their ability to follow instructions and take action shows what the future has in store for this team. Blend in the experience we have and you have an Indy-bound team come March.

  • TrueBlueJohn says:

    Just a thought. Considering the trouble this team has had in shooting free-throws so far, why not bring in a consultant to coach free-throws. We have a great one doing the TV broadcasts. Kyle Macy.

  • larryvaught says:

    Terrific idea. I will suggest that to Macy and see what he says

  • TRUBLU69 says:

    Kyle’s Teams at MOREHEAD were always around 75% from the line..Go gettem LARRY..LOL…GO BIG BLUE!!!

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