Gillispie gets his gem in Patterson

McDonald All-American Patrick Patterson announced his intention to play for the University of Kentucky in a press conference held Wednesday afternoon at his high school in Huntington, WVa.

Patterson, who is ranked as the No. 4 power forward in the 2007 recruiting class by, had limited his choices down to Kentucky, Duke and Florida before ultimately deciding to take his game to Lexington.

"I think at the end of the day Patterson's choice was location-based more than anything else," said Dave Telep, National Recruiting Editor for "With West Virginia out of the running, Kentucky became the hometown choice.... Whether his parents move to Lexington or not, they're two hours away."

One of the other factors that played out in the media recently was the relationship between Patterson and fellow All-American Jai Lucas, who signed with Florida Monday. Lucas reportedly sent a text to Patterson Monday afternoon informing the forward of his decision and expressing his desire to have him as a teammate in Gainsville.

Telep, however, said that most of the talk about the relationship between the two players came from Lucas trying to convince Patterson to join him, not the other way around.

Patterson is the first marquee recruit for newly-installed Wildcat head coach Billy Gillispie, who took the reigns from Tubby Smith at Kentucky in April.

"The energy swell was like a huge shot in the arm," Telep said. "Gillispie carried that through until he signed Patterson."

Duke had offered a scholarship to Patterson, who visited Durham in September. The Blue Devils' need for a big man later grew significantly, though, when 6-foot-10 Josh McRoberts declared for the NBA Draft in April.

Despite losing Patterson to Kentucky, Duke's 2007 recruiting class is still "outstanding," Telep said. ranks the class among the top three in the country, with one five-star recruit-Kyle Singler-and two four-star recruits-Nolan Smith and Taylor King.

"Let's not forget that Duke got [Singler], who was the higher ranked guy," he said. "Duke received it's No. 1 target this year."


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