If you've read anything about Patrick Patterson since April, there is a trend that seems to follow the 6-foot-8, 228-pound power forward from Huntington (W.V.) High School. No one works harder than him. Or this line: Every high-major wants him. Both ring true.
There has been a coaching pilgrimage to see big man over the last two weeks. At Nike camp and the Peach Jam, every game he played in had at least two head coaches from his long and elite high-major list on the sidelines. That isn't a big surprise. Patterson is playing like a man a possessed.
"I'd say this is the best I've been playing the whole year, really my whole life. I'm trying to keep it up," Patterson said. "I've got to play at that level. With all of the top competition around you, guys better than you or just as good as you, you have to play at your best. You have to bring your 'A' game."
Patterson is playing an A+ game. At the Peach Jam, he hasn't played like the player he was at Nike camp or the NBA Players Association camp. But he is making believers. Not bad for a guy that says he didn't think to much of himself as a rising junior.
"Last year my confidence level in myself was pretty low. Over the past year, I've tried to be more confident in myself. It has been showing in my game and it's helping me out a lot at the last two, three camps that I have been to," he said.
No kidding. Name a school and they have probably evaluated Patterson or offered a scholarship. His name is one of the hottest on the recruiting trail this summer.
"I've had to change my plan to unlimited messages and my bill went over 200 dollars one month," Patterson said.
"It's unbelievable. I'm just trying to soak it all in. Sometimes it is overwhelming and annoying because the college coaches are calling a lot. But I know it's all part of the process. It's my future ahead so I have to just roll with it."
Patterson said Florida, Wake Forest, Virginia and Kentucky are the most active schools on his list and stay in contact with him more than others. Each school has put in the work and that longevity could give them the upper hand.
"It's a big added benefit because they saw something in me before anyone else did," Patterson said. "They saw me and they saw the great player that I could be. It's a big deal because they saw that from day one."
There are few schools that can jump into recruiting races a little later than others but still grab the attention of prep stars. Duke is one of those programs. The Blue Devils offered Patterson a day after the Nike All-American camp.
"It changes things a lot," Patterson said, "because Coach K is such a legend and Duke is like one of the highest academic schools in America. My dad is such a huge Duke fan. Growing up, we always watched them. He loves the Duke-UNC rivalry game. I know it is one of his wishes for me to play at Duke but he has always said that I need to look at all of the other schools.
"Coach K called me and my family and told me that he was going to offer me a scholarship," Patterson said. "He told me not to worry about the rumors that he is recruiting other players because he has two more scholarships to give and the other one he wants to go to Kyle Singler. He said there is no pressure on me and whenever I want to commit, he said he can wait."
Patterson said the new offers haven't changed his approach to the recruiting process though.
"I'm still at the same point," he said. "I'm wide open and undecided. I'm open to all of the colleges. Me and family want to trim it down to five schools so I can come up with my visits. We'll trim it down at the end of August."