Player Spotlight: Pitt SF Lamar Patterson
Penn State will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers on Tuesday, December 3rd, as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Senior small forward Lamar Patterson leads a Pittsburgh squad that many expect to break into the top 25 polls in the upcoming week.
Patterson has started 66 straight games for the Panthers and is the team’s unquestioned leader. His senior status has provided him with far more experience than most of his teammates.
The wingman is averaging 17 points per game to go along with 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He has scored at least 20 points three times so far on the year, and is coming off a career-high 24 point game against, Stanford in the Legends Classic Championship Game. Patterson was awarded tournament MVP honors.
Patterson is a Lancaster, PA, native, but played his high school ball at St. Benedict’s Prep, in New Jersey. He averaged 10 points as a senior in high school and led St. Benedict’s to a 24-3 season record, earning them a No. 7 ranking in the USA Today high school basketball polls.
Ranked as the No. 15 small forward by ESPNU, Patterson received numerous scholarship offers, including one from Penn State.
As a freshman, the Lancaster native received a medical hardship waiver after severely spraining his ankle. He only appeared in 10 games that season. However, the following year, Patterson came off the bench in 32 of 34 basketball games and was honored with the Most Improved Player Award.
The next two seasons is when Patterson really began to shine. As a redshirt sophomore, Patterson started 37 games at small forward and recorded double-digit scoring in 18 of those contests. His 41% three-point percentage was good for third best in the Big East. The Panthers would go on to the CBI tournament at the end of that season, where Patterson excelled, averaging 13 points and 6 rebounds per game. He received tournament MVP honors.
Patterson’s redshirt junior year was much of the same. He averaged 10 points per game, which was second best on the team, and recorded double-digit scoring 17 times. His three double-doubles on the year were a big part of him being awarded with the Coaches and Captains Award at the end of the year.
Now a redshirt senior, Patterson has recorded over 800 career points and is expected to be one of the top point scorers in Pitt basketball history. He also ranks among school leaders in career assist: turnover ratio, with a 1.81 career average.
Patterson comes from a sports background. Both of his older brothers played collegiate sports. Perry Patterson played quarterback at Syracuse from 2004 to 2007, and Lorne Patterson played basketball for Kutztown University.
Pitt’s head coach Jamie Dixon expects Patterson to carry a heavy load this season, due to both his talent and experience. The redshirt senior will most definitely be the toughest player for the Nittany Lions to stop.
Patterson and the Panthers will defend their home court against Penn State this upcoming Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m.
Andy Madore is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)