April 08, 2010
When Kentucky announced Wednesday evening that its five underclassmen stars were each NBA-bound, it was a splashy release designed to show would-be recruits that plenty of playing time was available next season.
Only problem: One of the five underclassmen hasn't officially decided he's leaving yet.
Tywanna Patterson was at a mall in West Virginia when her cell phone started buzzing with folks calling to congratulate her on Patrick's decision. Perplexed since Patrick had told her that he wouldn't make a final decision for another week or two, Tywanna called her son, coach John Calipari and Kentucky sports information to find out what was going on.
"We were confused people by then," she told the Danville Advocate-Messenger. "I have a problem with it going out and not being official. It is his decision. He has not declared for the draft and once he does he can’t back out because he declared for the draft last year. But I am very upset with all this."
In maybe the most bizarre twist, Kentucky officials stood by what was in their release, insisting that Patrick has decided to leave. The release quoted Patrick as saying "Lexington and UK will always be a special place to me," but his mother said that was a quote he gave Kentucky sports information to use if he decides to submit his paperwork to the NBA.
Before Kentucky fans get too excited about the prospect of Patterson returning to school for his senior year, let's reiterate that we believe he fully intends to turn pro. But because he had previously declared for the draft and returned to Kentucky, he will wait until closer to the April 25 deadline to send in his paperwork since once he does it a second time, he is fully committed to leaving school.
"We are going to do it right if Patrick does leave," Tywanna said. "That is how Patrick is. He will have a press conference and tell people what is going on. It will be his day and his decision. That’s the way it should be and not the way this was handled."