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Sunday will be Patterson’s Senior Day

By LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON — He’s only been at Kentucky for three years, but it has been more than enough for Patrick Patterson to endear himself to UK fans.

It has also been long enough for him to be in position to complete his degree in a few months — and also go through his Senior Day with teammates Ramon Harris, Perry Stevenson and Mark Krebs Sunday when UK closes regular-season play by hosting Florida.

There has been no official announcement that Patterson will be part of the Senior Day ceremony and Patterson has yet to officially confirm he will enter the NBA draft when the season ends. But both are going to happen.

Patterson will have extra family and friends at the game and he’s sure to receive a huge ovation from Kentucky fans for all he’s done for the program.

He’s averaged 16.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in 88 career games. He has 1,452 points and 727 rebounds and if he did return for a senior season would have a chance to make a run at Dan Issel’s all-time scoring record.

However, Patterson has done all he can to improve his draft status with his perimeter play this year. He’ll soon get to play in the NCAA Tournament — another reason he wanted to come back for a junior season — and he’ll have his degree.

His numbers have dipped slightly this year as he has been more than willing to defer to freshmen John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins because Kentucky has won more. Patterson has been content to be the team leader and concentrate on one thing — winning.

“We all expected a lot from Pat. I think he has been coming through the whole season. We would have lost a lot of games without him. He is really doing a good job and he is definitely our leader, and has been all season,” said UK sophomore Darius Miller.

Patterson is hitting 58.5 percent from the field and is a career 59 percent shooter. This year he’s made 20 of 49 3-pointers after going 0-for-4 his first two seasons. He has eight double-doubles this season and 29 career double-doubles.

Yet there have been times this year when some have wondered about his numbers and if he was doing enough. Patterson says he often feels that fans and/or media members worry more about his numbers than he does.

“I have seen articles about how Patterson is not getting enough touches and the Cats are not able to finish out the game because when teams fight back maybe John and Eric (Bledsoe) turn the ball over or take a bad shot and Patrick doesn’t touch the ball,” he said. “Fans worry about me not getting the ball enough or me not scoring enough a lot more than I ever would.”

One who never worried about him was Florida coach Billy Donovan, who tried to recruit him out of Huntington, W.Va., before he signed with the Cats and then coach Billy Gillispie.

”I always felt he was a guy that really played very hard out of high school. He was physical. One thing about being a good frontcourt player at this level is being willing to put your body in play. He has played physically without regard for his body and  has given up his body,” Donovan said.

“Give him a lot of credit. The first two years under Billy (Gillispie) they really pounded the ball inside more and he was a relentless post player and rebounder. With John (Calipari) in there, there has been an opportunity to expand his game on the perimeter. I felt he was always a pretty good jump shooter and had a pretty good touch. As he has got older, his game has evolved and developed.”

Count South Carolina coach Darrin Horn as a Patterson fan, too.

“Early on when he was not scoring as much there was a lot of talk he was not playing well,”  Horn said. “The key to their team is Patterson. We all know how special the freshman are and the impact they have made, but to have a guy like Patterson who is a hard work and plays hard — I never watch film or a play and think he is not bringing it — and has that presence, and I am guessing he does it daily in practice, too.

“There’s no question he is capable of big nights, but there are other things he has done to help the team more than has been noticed because of some of the numbers.”

So get ready to say farewell to a special player who endured two years under Gillispie, has embraced the Kentucky tradition and now has helped put UK in position to win that elusive eighth national title. He’s been special from day one and my guess is that he’s going to be missed as  much as any player who has played at Kentucky for all he’s done on and off the floor.

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/sunday-will-be-pattersons-senior-day/

67 comments

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  1. Dennis

    Patrick, Thank You for everything you have done for UK in your time here. You almost single handedly kept our program above water during some bad years. You will be remembered in my family as one of the Greatest Cats ever. I hope we get to see your Jersey in the rafters at Rupp in the future. Thanks again for all that you have done for us.

  2. joe

    Thanks, Patrick for all you have done for the program. Big Blue Nation is indebted to you. I agree also to see your jersey hanging from the rafters.

  3. ronnie

    i believe they should retire his jersey he is the best player in collage basketball

  4. Tommy

    It is time to put some names in the rafters. Starting with Mashburn first, then Delk, Turner, Prince, Hayes, and Patterson. This needs to be done soon. Get on it, UK…

  5. Sarah

    I am so proud for Patrick. There should never have been a question about his being involved – a senior is a senior. I can’t believe on other sites they even debated it. I have been a UK fan for many, many years, known a few players personally, but can still say Patrick is my favorite CAT – no question. Not only is he a great player; but, he is also a great man. You go, Patrick. We wish you well in your future and we thank you for all the love you have shown UK and its fans. Thanks you Mrs. Patterson for rearing such a fine young man.

  6. rjr

    Patrick Patterson has been such a great ambassador for UK basketball. I’ve never met him, but he seems to be such a great person. I’m so glad he came back this year and I hope its has lived up to his expectations.

    P.S. Hey Tommy, Mashburn’s jersey is already hanging in Rupp, take another look…

  7. TJ

    1 more year, 1 more year, 1 more year

  8. Jim Boyers

    The realization that this journey is almost over just royally SUCKS!!

    Teams like this only come along a few times in one’s lifetime.

    And players like Patrick don’t come along very often either. The mixture of his could-have-been one-and-done talent, great teammate, serious student and amazing person, make him rarer still.

    Patrick, Big Blue Nation has been proud to call you our player, ambassador and leader for these 3 unique years in the history of this program. While your time here has not been long, our memories of you will last forever. I won’t waste time wishing you luck in the future. With your talent and personality, you don’t need luck. Your success at the next level and beyond are a foregone conclusion. We all know that you will make us proud. To close, I will just say: Let’s finish off this year in style!!

    GO BIG BLUE!!!!

  9. Tommy

    rjr, He was so good they should hang it twice then. ;)

  10. Vince

    On the radio show tonight Cal confirmed that Patrick would be honored with the seniors for Senior Day. It should be a great event.

  11. S Brock

    Great article Larry, it has been very refreshing to have a player like Patterson here at Kentucky. I don’t know Patrick personally, but you can really tell that he is a kid who has a great up bringing. I can only imagine how proud his parents are of him. GREAT YOUNG MAN!!!!

  12. Shelley

    Pat has done so much to restore pride to UK basketball. He is an outstanding young man, both on and off the court. We are so proud of his accomplishments, athletically and academically. He has embraced this program, the University and the fans throughout the last three years and is loved by all throughout the Big Blue Nation…yet he remains humble and team oriented. He is a special player who has made Kentucky proud! Pat will long be remembered at the University of Kentucky! One of my all-time favorites too.

  13. gmoyers

    Amen, amen to all posted here.
    Maybe Tywanna can arrange a Meet Pat night for vaughtsviews.com readers after the season ends. Trust me, Pat would love meeting and talking to all of you. He’s that good

  14. Greg

    I love me some Patrick Patterson!…U rock son…awesome guy, awesome human being! Terrific basketball player, legendary Wildcat!!!…Nuff said!

  15. Angela Carter

    I’m going to be a blubbering MESS. I want what’s best for Patrick, but I don’t want him, or his parents to go…EVER. :-(

  16. Angela Carter

    I suggested to Tywanna that she and Buster move across the state line and I’ll be her campaign manager when she runs for GOVERNOR of Kentucky!

  17. Hugh Ward

    I have mentioned/posted this several times, but at this time, I think it is worth repeating. I have been listening to/watching UK basketball for about 60 years. During that time, there have been many great players who were special individuals. One in a great while, there is a VERY special player who comes along. Not just talented, but a hard worker, good student (a true “student athlete”), and all-around individual. Such a person we see in Patrick. I have never met him or his family (although I have seen them), but what a family it is. Patrick, you have set some high goals for future players to follow; not just as a talented player with a fantastic work ethic, but as a wonderful person, an excellent student and a tremendous ambassador for UK. You will be greatly missed, and without #54 on the floor, it won’t seem quite like a UK team. Best of luck to you, and I hope you forget the bad times and remember the good ones. Return often, you will always be welcomed by those of us who cherish the memories and contributions.

  18. HDCJR

    It’s hard to believe that it is getting close to the end of the season and saying goodbye to Patrick is something that I have dreaded since he arrived on campus. He has been a great role model and a terrific player. He will always be remembered as one of the all time greats to wear the uniform. I hope he continues to come back to Lexington every chance he gets. We will miss you Pat!!! Good luck in the NBA!!

  19. gmoyers

    Don’t fret Angela. I will be on press row and I am pretty sure I will cry, too. I love Ramon as well. A classy, classy kid as well that I hope folks also appreciate. He’s been through a lot, too

  20. Mark V.

    I look forward to seeing the graduates welcomed back frequently to remain part of the UK family. Players haven’t always felt wanted and I appreciate Coach Cal changing that attitude. This includes the parents of course as none have been a bigger part of the program than the Patterson’s.

  21. UKFMLY

    I want to start by thanking Mr. & Mrs. Patterson. Thank you for raising such a remakable young man. As I have said often on this site he is the kind of young man that any father would be proud to see asking his daughter out. All he is accomplishing is no accident it’s because he has GREAT, devoted, intelligent parents at home! Thanks for the memories PP and thanks again to a GREAT pair or parent! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. GO BLUE OR STAY HOME!

  22. Marsha

    Patrick, I want to thank you for what you have meant to our basketball program. You will always be a part of our great tradition, and you have represented the University of Kentucky well. We will greatly miss you. I can’t believe how the time has flown – seems like only yesterday we were all watching your press conference to announce your college choice and anxiously hoping you would say the word “Kentucky”. We are SO glad you did! You have truly embraced not only UK, but our fans as well. It’s not hard to see that you love being a wildcat.

    I wish you only the best with your NBA career and please stay close to the program. Again, we will miss you and your family!

  23. LindaS

    I have said it before and I will say it again, I would be proud to call Patrick my son. After reading this and the replies I can’t stop crying. I am going to miss that young man so much. UKFMLY, I to have thanked Mr & Mrs Patterson for raising a son they can be proud of and who is one of the best things that ever happened to the UK family, not just on the court but off the court. I wish when I had talked to him on the phone during the Hoops for Haiti I had not been so tongue tied. It is going to be hard to replace Patrick, I don’t think we ever will. Patrick has shown what it takes to be a winner. He has played in an entirely different position then he has ever played and he plays his heart out and leads the team and has sat an example for all the players today and the players of the future. Patrick has become a legend at UK and will always be remembered with much love and admiration. Again, Mr & Mrs Patterson, thank you for sharing your son with us. Please write the book on raising a healthy, decent human being. Mrs. P, if you move to Kentucky you have my vote for Governor. I hope the TV station shows the introduction of the Sr. players and Patrick before the game. I look forward to following Patrick’s career in the future but I am going to miss him so much. GO CATS! 27-1

  24. dave kersey

    Would love to see you stay. But the NBA needs you. For that matter, just about any workplace needs you. You’ve paid it forward countless times on the court and off in Lexington. Time for bigger ripples. May the road rise to meet you and the wind blow at your back. Thanks for one heck of a job. Proud of you.

  25. Donald R. Lewis

    My congratulations to the entire Patterson family. The pro game is about to receive a very special type of man. Not just a ball player of big skills but a scholar and all around young man of integrity.

  26. mb

    Sarah, I too saw the “debate” on at least one website on whether or not Patrick should have a Senior’s Day. The argument against was that since Pat was not a “true” senior in the sense of the word, he should not be able to be with Ramon, Perry, and Mark on this special day. To penalize Patrick for doing something in 3 years, what it normally takes 4 years to do, is IMO, well, as stupid a thing as someone could come up with. And come up with is exactly what they did just for the sake of debating. And these people are Kentucky fans! I do believe some people just have too much time on their hands. But count me in with everyone here who loves Patrick for what he has done for UK basketball. And just as importantly, for the type of person he has shown himself to be. He and his parents are special people and I am so proud and honored that he chose UK to continue playing the game he obviously loves. And as much as I would love to have him another year, I also look forward to watching him play in the NBA. I will do so with as much pride in him then as I have for him now. I am 61 years old and I can truthfully say that Patrick Patterson is one of my all time favorite UK players. Thanks PP!

  27. Tywanna Patterson

    Good morning and thanks for all the support and well wishes for Patrick and our family on Senior Day! Go CATS and Go Big Blue!

  28. UKBoo

    Pat is my favorite player of all time. He chose UK when he didn’t really have to. He chose to come to UK and not just help make it better, but MADE it better. There is no telling how this year would have gone, even with the influx of talent, without the steady hand of Pat. As good as Pat is on the court, that is only a small part of what makes him my favorite because what he has done off the court is just as important. Pat may move on in person, but he and his family will always have a home at UK. Go Cats!!

  29. KC

    It will be sad to see Patrick on the Rupp floor for the last time. He has been a warrior from day one and to get his degree in three years is incredible. Thanks Patrick and Good Luck Always.

    GO BIG BLUE!

  30. Neal

    Has the NCAA changed the rule about underclassman being honored on Senior Day? I remember Mashburn had to have a special ceremony after the game his junior season. Now P2 gets to be honored WITH the seniors? Please clarify. BTW Patrick, you are one of the greatest to ever play here!

  31. gmoyers

    It’s fine to honor Pat. No NCAA problems.
    It’s going to be a very special day for Pat and his family as Tywanna noted. Sure she will cry. Heck, I probably will, too. My guess is that Pat will as well. Have a surprise coming from Tywanna soon, too. She did a special Q&A for vaughtsviews.com

  32. Marion County

    All I can say is I hope all future Wildcats are 75% of the kids that Patrick Patterson is. The word Kentucky mean something to him, not self. And in todays time that is simply amazing.
    He obviously came from some very good people. Thanks for working so hard and best of luck in the NBA. You will always be a Cat though!

  33. Tom West

    Great article Larry. Hope you will also do one about Ramon Harris. Like Patterson, Ramon is a class act and it would have been easy for him to have walked out the door after two years under coach Head Case, but he stuck it out. He has become a great role player and provides a big defensive spark when called upon. Both of these gentlemen (term not used loosely)remind me of the heart and class of Chuck Hayes and Kyle Macy.

    Perry Stevenson has also embraced his role and he’s been through it too. Maybe UK should award a “blue” heart (ala purple heart) for anyone who survived the Gillispie occupation.

  34. gmoyers

    Great sentiment Marion County.
    And tom, I am with you on the Blue Heart. Those kids all deserve it. Just put up something short on Ramon. More with him coming later this week

  35. Jim Barr

    Ha. Even though it might be a little over the top, I like it: The Gillispie Occupation. (Should be the name of Porter’s book).

  36. papablu

    Patrick,

    As a parent of three terrific kids, I know how proud your parents are of you and your accomplishments at UK. Also as a young man.

    But I must tell you, as a Kentucky fan, we are so very proud of how you conducted yourself as a player and really became a representative of the team, University, and the state of Kentucky. The way you handled your studies, and the way you gave of yourself and your time to others is something very special in todays world from a young person.

    I hope when you leave Kentucky you have great memories of your time here. With your hard work you have carved a special place for you in Kentucky history.

    THANK YOU! Patrick. You are on the verge of something great. Bring it home!!!
    But remember, no matter what happens, you will always be a Wildcat!!!! Good luck in everything you dream to accomplish.

  37. Davis

    This is great news, Larry!
    Tywanna and Buster,
    Thank you very much for sharing your son with us these past three years! He has represented the University of Kentucky as well as it can be represented. I also believe he has represented your family very well.

  38. Longclaws

    If you put basketball aside and totally ignore Pat’s talent on the court, any of us would still be proud to have a son like Patrick.

    It won’t be the same without him.

  39. Ball Hog

    Patrick Patterson will be remembered as one of the all-time UK greats.

    Mashburn came to UK during difficult times and got to see the program’s return to prominence. Mash got a special ceremony at his last home game (as a junior).

    Patrick Patterson had a difficult decision to make, perservered through tough times, stuck with us, and is reaping the reward.

    We get five more weeks to watch this all-time great make lasting memories for us.

    The basketball dictionary needs a new photo to accompany the definition of “class”. A photo of Patrick will do just fine.

  40. Peter

    Players like Patterson make me proud to be a UK Fan…he is class all the way through. Hopefully UK finds a way to honor his legacy!

  41. elaczi

    Patterson is one of my all time favorite UK players. I love his dedication, his passion and his team first attitude. I’m really gonna miss him, but I know he will be in the NBA making the big bucks. His stock has really improved a lot and I couldn’t be happier for him and his wonderful family.

  42. IM Blue

    We have not had a pregame show all year, as in the past. Will the Senior Day celebration be televised Sunday? I surely hope so, somewhere, somehow. The BBN everywhere should be able to experience this farewell. Don’t you agree?

  43. Jack

    I love Patrick Patterson. He has been a great player and a great face for UK basketball.

    I don’t agree that he should be honored on Senior Day. Senior Day is not now and has never been about academic class. It is about basketball eligibility. Patrick has another year of eligibility after this year. I understand why he is leaving early. I would too. But if Senior Day is to mean what it always has, that this is not only your last UK home game, but the last UK home game you could ever play, then Patrick is not eligible. His accomplishments are not unique. We have surely had other players eligible to graduate in May with another year of eligibility. Anyone that redshirted should have qualified for that. We have had lots of great players that might go pro after their junior year. They did not get an early “Senior Day” because they could play for UK the next year.

    Again, this is nothing against Patrick. I am in favor of honoring him in any number of ways, including putting his jersey in the rafters. But I think “Senior Day” should be specially reserved for those players that FINISHED their college career for UK. Patrick can do that next year. Not this year.

    For those of you who will argue that Patrick is graduating, that has never had anything to do with it. We have surely had grad students on the basketball team b/c they finished undergrad during their time at UK (if not b/c of a redshirt, then b/c they transfered to UK giving them a sit out year and 5 years to complete their degree). They didn’t do Senior Day based on their academic transcript. They did it based on their eligibility. In basketball, Patrick is not a senior. Treat him like we did Mashburn if you want. But do not treat him like he can’t play for UK next year. He can. If he wants that honor, then he can finish his eligibility. Life is full of choices.

    It isn’t unfair to Patrick to keep the rules (fair rules at that) the same as they always have been.

  44. BCO

    will also go down as my all time favorite Cat. i didnt think anyone could ever replace chuck hayes, but Pat did. Turning down a guarenteed first round spot to come back to a new coach, with new teammates, to complete his degree and bring Big Blue back to prominence…How could he not go down as everyones favorite Cat? Wherever #54 plays in the NBA, thatll be my new favorite team outside of the Celtics and Ill be the first to buy his jersey….Thanks so much for all youve done for UK basketball, Pat!

  45. Jackie

    I’m totally going to cry. Can’t believe this season is almost over!!!!!!

  46. Karen Sprinkle

    I echo the sentiments of everyone else on here about what a special young gentlemen Patrick is, and I am very glad that UK is honoring him at Senior Day. I know from first hand experience how tough it is to graduate early while being on an athletic team (I was a student manager at EKU and graduated in 3 and a half years). Patrick is, and will always be, one of my favorite players. He is a very rare individual, and we will miss him greatly. I hope that they show the Senior Day celebration in its entirety on This is Kentucky Basketball, if not in the game telecast. For, truly, this really is what Kentucky Basketball is all about.

    But, we shouldn’t forget about Ramon, Perry and Mark, who kept the faith through 3 coaches in 4 years. This Senior Day celebration should be very special.

  47. George

    I love this young man. Tony Delk has been my favorite player for years and now Patick Paterrson sits beside him. Patrick is a great ambassdor for UK and the KY state.

  48. Tana

    Patrick,

    I don’t know where to start. My respect and admiration for you are off the charts. I have never referred to a player as my “favorite player” while eligibility remains, for I truly love all of our players and don’t want to “play favorites.” You, though, are an exception to that rule. I simply must call you “my favorite player,” not only because of your passionate play on the court, but especially because of the outstanding human being you are off the court. Your character and choices and behavior have touched my heart to the point of naming you that now, not after you leave the university.

    You are the Heart and Soul of our basketball team. You are Pure Class. Every article I read about your team-first attitude or something kind you’ve done for others, that respect, admiration, and love grow. Thank you, young man, for having become a Wildcat. Thank you for your tremendous play on the court and how you have represented the university off the court.

    Thank you, too, Mr. and Mrs. Patterson. What a great job you have done in raising your son. How lucky Patrick is to have you as parents– and how blessed we Kentucky fans have been to have had all of you as part of the Kentucky family.

    Last, Patrick, when games are especially close, I will say to my husband that I so badly want to win “for Patrick.” That is how big of a spot you have in my heart — and always will. The tears always flow on Senior Day. How they will especially flow Sunday, though, because of you.

    May God bless you, ALWAYS a Wildcat, with the wonderful future you so deserve. Again, we Kentucky fans have been so blessed.

  49. Tom West

    Jack, because this America, you are entitled to your opinion. But I whole-heartedly disagree with you, as I am sure most of Big Blue Nation does as well. I would have to assume by your comments that you also believe UK and the BBN were wrong to honor John Stewart on what would have been his sennior night. That was one of the classiest moments ever in Rupp and demonstrates how the BBN is more concerned about doing what is right for the young men of OUR program. Kentucky basketball is not a factory with a home office in Indianapolis which dictates who, when and how we honor those that have brought honor to us.

  50. gmoyers

    Jack, I have to disagree. For all this young man has done and knowing he is going to graduate, I see no reason not to honor him. It would be wrong not to in my opinion. This is a changing world and players leaving early is a fact of life. But when one still finishes his academic work and then leaves early, I say salute him and guessing the overall sentiment will be that way

  51. Tom

    Patrick Patterson has been a joy to watch over the past three years. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of the all-time UK greats and on top of that he seems to be a really good guy. I’d take a hundred Patrick Pattersons on my team any day.

  52. Jack

    No matter what the rule or its rationale is, we all like to make exceptions for those people we like. The tradition as it stands is both fair and well known. It is not an injustice to not make an exception for a guy we like.

    Larry, I understand your argument (and others here), though I cannot even imagine how it would be “wrong” to not make an exception in this case. There is nothing wrong with what we do now and have done for years. Why is it ‘wrong’ to recognize that Patrick has another year of eligibility, so like all those before him he isn’t a basketball Senior?

    Tom, your assumption lacks any basis in what I said. I know my position makes you want to vilify me, but I am not a bad guy. I did not have a problem with what we did for John Stewart. He passed away. He did not choose to leave the UK team before his eligibility expired – which is exactly what Patrick will be doing. There is a differece between dying and going to the NBA early.

    Patrick is making a choice. If he wants to be treated like all those before him that played out their eligibility at UK, then he should play out his eligibility.

    Larry did not “attack” me – he just commented on the arguments, but others will. I am shocked at how many fans want to attack me as some sort of monster (I debated this at another site as well well such attacks were more frequent). I am not doing anything to dishonor Patrick. I just don’t want to change the rules or tradition for Patrick when the situation is not unique (think about it – it isn’t).

    If we do treat Patrick as a “senior,” what is the new rule in the future? Do we even care to be consistent?

    I have only heard two rationales given for having Patrick treated as a “senior” when no one else leaving UK early has been given this treatment. (1) He is really a senior b/c he is going to (we assume) graduate this May. Response: That has never been relevant before, either for those “juniors” in eligibility that were going to graduate in May who didn’t get senior day until the next year or those “seniors” in eligibility that were not going to graduate who did get honored. Other than being academically eligible to play in the game, anticipated graduation dates have never a factor in senior day eligibility. We have football players who are already grad students (b/c so many redshirt as freshmen) at Senior day nearly every year (see, he isn’t unique).

    (2) To paraphrase most of you, “we like Patrick for lots of reasons, one important one is he is a really good player, he played for Billy G who was a big meanie, and he played an extra year when he could have gone pro.” To respond: Is this just b/c Patrick is popular? What about the next kid in similar circumstances but not as popular or as good as Patrick? Do we make the same exception? (A: not likely) Half our team played for Billy G. Lots of others played for him and the reward was an encouraging suggestion to transfer. Lots of UK players came back despite having a chance at being drafted in the previous year. This list includes Rondo, Mashburn, Prince and maybe Delk.

    I think if we are going to make an exception, it should be part of the rule so we can apply it consistently in the future. In Stweart’s case, it is easy. A signed recruit or player who passes away can be treated as a senior on his hypothetical senior day. That is a great tradition that hopefully never needs to be used again.

    In this case, the rule would be so specific to Patrick’s situation as to be funny. Is the new exception we will honor all future “non-seniors” in eligibility who MIGHT graduate in May and plan to leave early for the NBA?

    The current tradition is fair and I happen to like it. I like telling kids that if you want a senior day moment, you have to FINISH your college eligibility at UK. To make exceptions, especially an exception for a player voluntarily leaving UK before his eligibility is expired, reduces the importance of the moment to me. With Coach Cal bringing in lots of early NBA talent (we assume), the number of Senior Day eligible players will be smaller than in the past. That is good. It makes for a speical day for those kids that played out their eligibility. If we change that, it is just a good bye ceremony to everyone we like. I think those of you wanting to make an exception for Patrick forget what part of the current tradition makes the other Senior day players special. The other players finished their eligibility. Patrick is voluntarily choosing not to do that. I think the kids that do should have their day without having to share it with others who may be special but not in the same way.

    Before claiming that I kill kittens in my spare time: I LOVE PATRICK. I THINK HE IS A CLASS ACT AND I’M GLAD TO HAVE HIM AT UK. I LOVE UK BASKETBALL. I DON’T LIVE IN KY, BUT THIS YEAR ALONE I FLEW TO NY TO SEE THE UCONN GAME, DROVE TO AUBURN FOR THAT GAME AND WILL BE AT THE GAME WEDNESDAY NIGHT IN ATHENS.

    Larry, thank you for a great site and for letting me state my position.

  53. Jack

    Wow – that was long. Sorry. Let me add that I don’t want Patrick to leave. He has been a class act on and off the court and one of the best examples of what UK basketball can be. I hope they show some pre-game senior day moments on the TV since I won’t be able to be there.

  54. dave kersey

    would love to see 24,000 huge red heart posters lifted up on Sunday. That’s how much we want to honor you. And someday number 54 will fly high in Rupp. What an emotional day Sunday will be.

  55. Tom West

    Jack, I certainly was not “attacking” you. Sorry that you took it that way. I was stating my opinion as well and will do so sucinctly: I am glad to be affiliated with a university that does make exceptions for exceptional student athletes.

  56. gmoyers

    No problem Jack. We all have opinions. I love Dave’s idea bout the 24,000 hearts. That would be cool.
    I think as long as Cal is here, you will see exceptions made when they are merited and this is a case where it is merited. And it is his senior day in my mind. I have a hard time penalizing a kid for graduating early.

  57. gmoyers

    I might be wrong, but I think Jared Carter went through Senior Day last year when he technically had a year of eligibility left

  58. Sarah

    It boils down to people talking about the rules and traditions. If there is truly a rule discussing who should be honored, then someone be kind enough to show me something in writing. If there is no such thing in existence, then we are back to what someone is calling “tradition.” Unless Webster has changed his mind, tradition means “handing over, passing on.” It is a pattern that may be passed on from year to year, such as a Christmas tradition. They are started for various reasons. Just as my Christmas traditions have changed over the years due to the children growing older, children having children, one child moving far away – UK senior traditions can and should change based on what is best for the university and, if we believe what we preach, best for the student. I graduated from college in 3 years, and I was honored as a senior at the end of that time. I had one more year of scholarships available, but that didn’t mean I had to stay to enjoy my graduation. If we are about honoring seniors, by George, let’s honor our seniors – including Patrick. Senior is a college term for the year you are in; it is academic. It is not a sports term. Go Patrick. Enjoy your special day.

  59. gmoyers

    As usual, Sarah a great post. Love your passion and logic.

  60. Jack

    I am happy for Patrick and will support his senior day moment.

    I appreciate Sarah’s passion, but I do not follows Sarah’s logic. Sr. is most defintely a sports term, too. The terms Freshman…Senior can be used for either academic or sports (i.e., how many years of eligibility have been used). In “school” – the terms refers to progress towards a degree. In sports, it always refers to eligibility. Thus, all those redshirted football players are called Freshman though in most cases they are academic sophomores. If we honor our academic seniors on senior day (as Sarah suggests), that creates problems (and we do not do that-never have). Many football players and some other sports players would go through senior day too early (or twice). Many redshirted football players are academic seniors their “junior” (in sports terms) year. We all know this. The athletic dept use of “senior” on senior day has always been about eligibility, just like your graduation day has nothing to do with your athletic eligibility.

    Look-let’s just agree that there is no traditional way to explain this-many want to make an exception for Patrick because you like him and that’s that. I get it, love Patterson, but I prefer the tradition.

    Larry, Jared Carter had a chance to petition for a medical redshirt to get that extra year of eligibility. Technically, though, he was still a senior when he went through senior day because he had played games in 4 years and had not yet petitioned. Had he petitioned, he may have been granted an extra year for the year he was hurt early in the season, but it would be a discretionary thing with the NCAA.

  61. Tom West

    If the NCAA says something, I am in favor of the opposite. Talk about an organization that has everything BUT the student athlete in mind… I don’t believe they have any rules regarding who can and cannot be honored before their last home game, but I’m sure if you wrote and told them Kentucky was about to do something different, they would call an emergency meeting to create one.

    If it bothers you that much, just don’t go to the game and let the other hundreds of thousands of the BBN honor their heros.

  62. gmoyers

    I think everyone in rupp will be with you Tom. NOthing personal Jack, but the Big Blue wants to say a proper farewell to Patrick

  63. Mark V.

    I consider the “Senior Day” honor to be given to those who are graduating and no longer playing basketball for the University of Kentucky. I also approve of the exception given to John Stewart.

    Patrick Patterson easily qualifies in my opinion. I hope he and his parents enjoy the day.

  64. Sarah

    I don’t understand Jack’s logic. No, you can’t be a senior twice – only once. You may be a postgraduate if you graduate from college and stay an extra year. If you finish your postgraduate degree, have a ceremony and honor that. But, you are no longer a senior. Guess it comes down to which came first, the chicken (school) or the egg (sports). I think the education came before the sports, therefore, they trump the term senior. Heck, I’m now considered a “senior” and don’t want recognition or an award. But, I’m not a senior in school.

  65. gmoyers

    Patterson certainly qualifies in my opinion, too, and should enjoy his special day. I know I am

  66. Brent

    I am with my mother, Mr Vaught, and MANY of UK fans out there that agree patterson DESERVES a proper farewell. If you bleed blue and think that patterson should only get a chance at the NBA and a hand shake you are wrong. He helped build the hemistry of them team along with his coach. He was there when they were good or bad, winning or not. Beyond that he was dedicated to wearing blue, and even above that, he has a degree coming to him. And about tradition, I love to see a little change herer and there, without it, it would be boring and we have alot of UK athletic and academic traditions to start, change, mold, create, so whats wrong with Patterson getting the recognition he deserves? GO BLUE………..WHITE!!!!!

  67. Brent

    If you cant accept change, you might want to look at different school to cheer for, but wait that will not work because every school and program changes constantly whether you see it or not. The only thing you cna do as a FAN, is accept it and go with flow, its probably better you do or you will be left behind. So Patterson, play your hardest and how the what it means to be a student, leader, player, and idol, go get what’s yours and never look back because you an appreciate the memories of the team, coach, calssmates, professors, and last but not leaast the fans.

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