Sweat streamed down Patrick Patterson's face as he met with reporters Friday for a regular interview session before Kentucky's practice. So why was Patterson already sweating when practice had not started?
"Coach Cal said he wanted me to come out even earlier these next couple games," Patterson said.
UK Coach John Calipari said he's prescribed extra work in the past for players who are not playing well.
"If I think the guys are thinking too much or are in a slump," he said. "... Try to get him to do more work. Try to be more specific in what I'm looking for in different areas on the court."
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Calipari suggested the extra work can help a player make a psychological readjustment.
"A lot of times, when they start spending more time, they feel that, OK, I'm going to get through this," the UK coach said. "And half of this is in their minds."
For the first time in his Kentucky career, Patterson failed to score more than 10 points in back-to-back games: nine points against Arkansas and five at South Carolina. Prior to the past week, he'd failed to score 10 points in only eight college games.
Patterson was at a loss to explain the dip in productivity except to note that players, even one as consistent as him, can slip.
"One of those days," he said. "It happens to the best of us."
Calipari is working with Patterson on offense, both low-post scoring and perimeter shooting.
"He wanted me to improve my offensive game, build up my confidence," Patterson said. "He said I was a little bit anxious now."
Having said that, Patterson added a moment later that his confidence has not waned.
"Even the best players have off games, and that was mine," he said of UK's loss at South Carolina on Tuesday. "So, hopefully, that won't happen again."
Calipari acknowledged maybe putting too much pressure on Patterson and other players to perform to a high standard.
"I probably did Patrick and John (Wall) and a couple others a disservice by saying how good they are," the UK coach said. "All that does is put more pressure on them to perform."
In that context, Calipari said the loss at South Carolina can re-orient the Cats to simply look to improve.
"Now we're not going to be undefeated," Calipari said he told the players. "It's about us getting better. Now winning and losing shouldn't be as big a part of their minds."
When asked if freshman DeMarcus Cousins assuming the low-post scoring role contributed to his slip, Patterson said he saw himself as more of a perimeter player now.
"Watching film, I saw myself not running up and down the court, passing first rather than looking to make a play," he said. "... Just hesitant."
Repeating a familiar theme, Patterson said that UK coaches want him to be more assertive in demanding the ball.
"Coach says if I want the ball in the post, just tell my teammates," he said. "I never spoke up."
Meanwhile, some UK fans made themselves heard on Patterson's Facebook page. They used the venue to criticize Patterson and other UK players.
"I know I didn't play my best game," Patterson said. "That was probably my worst game ever. ... A couple fans out there, they do bleed blue. But they will say some negative things about you."
Patterson said he did not think of the criticism as fans quickly turning against a player who has done so much for Kentucky.
"I was thinking of it as fans getting on a basketball player they say they love and who they have so much respect for ... all of a sudden pull a 180," he said. "I tried to let them know, don't question us. Don't criticize us. We're all human. We make mistakes. That was my mistake for not playing the way I should have played in that game. Don't run my teammates down."
Patterson said he followed Calipari's advice to ponder for a day how some fans did a 180-degree turn.
As of Friday, Patterson said he was turning his attention to UK's opponent on Saturday: Vanderbilt.
Calipari noted how every former UK coach he spoke to prior to taking the job told him that a vast majority of fans are supportive.
"One percent of people in this state are absolutely out of their minds," he said. "You can't deal with them. The other 99 percent are beautiful, loving, great hearts. ...
"Take down your site if you can't deal with it."