SU Adds A Second Guard To 2013 Class As Ron Patterson Commits
During one of the more infuriating football games of recent memory, more good news arrived for the basketball team as shooting guard Ron Patterson committed to the Orange Saturday afternoon while on an official visit to campus. Patterson’s commitment adds guard depth to a team that may need it quite badly with Brandon Triche graduating and Michael Carter-Williams potentially bolting for the NBA after this season.
Patterson’s development and how he arrived at SU is an interesting history. He grew up in a very rough part of Indianapolis and didn’t pick up basketball until middle school. As a freshman in high school, he received his first offer from Purdue, but waited things out as more schools, including Ohio State and eventually Indiana, took notice. Patterson committed to the Hoosiers way back in August of 2010, but things fell through. The official word is that Patterson failed to meet Indiana’s academic qualification standards, but it’s well-known that the Hoosiers are facing a roster crunch going into next season, even if (or more realistically, when) Cody Zeller leaves early for the draft. In any case, Patterson is now going the prep route at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, which as many of you know is where C.J. Fair played. Despite the perception that Patterson was eased out after Tom Crean pulled in some higher-ranked talent, there’s a lot to like about him.
Syracuse didn’t express strong interest until recently, but the staff obviously liked what they saw in Patterson: A big guard with tremendous defensive instincts and a wingspan considerably longer than his 6’2″ frame. He’s developed more recently as a scorer, but those skills may be slow to translate at the college level. Fortunately, with Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije in the fold, there shouldn’t be much pressure for Patterson to become a major offensive threat by the time he arrives on campus. On top of the measurable skills, Patterson already has a penchant for toughness and has been praised as a leader among his teammates.
There’s been a tone of uneasiness on message boards as well as Twitter concerning the possible absence of a backup point guard if MCW leaves and Tyler Ennis comes to town as the team’s only point guard. Since Patterson’s a shooting guard, this news probably won’t temper that discussion, but Rysheed Jordan, the most prominent guard left in the Orange’s sights, hasn’t cut Syracuse from his list quite yet. One line of thought is that the Orange cranked up their pursuit of Patterson because they weren’t comfortable waiting for Jordan to commit, and that may have some credence. However, the Orange still have one scholarship remaining for next season, though that assumes no defections.
That lone scholarship appears to be reserved for a forward, whether it’s Tyler Roberson or Noah Vonleh. If either of them commit, there won’t be a spot for Jordan unless MCW (or less likely, Rakeem Christmas or DaJuan Coleman) makes an early draft declaration. For many, the potential bind of SU being without a backup point guard next year is a demonstrable concern. While that certainly may become a bigger issue down the road, we won’t know for sure how legitimate it is until we see how MCW performs in a bigger role. The hype reminds me a lot of the attention Kris Joseph received before the 2010-11 season, and we all know how that season panned out for him. I’m not predicting that MCW won’t perform well enough to leave after the season, but the point is that until we see how players react to bigger responsibilities, it’s not much use fretting over the future at such an early juncture.