Kentucky standout Patrick Patterson is scoring less and rebounding less, but winning more. It's a trade-off he finds acceptable.
"I'm not concerned about my points per game (and) my rebounds," Patterson said after UK beat Vanderbilt 85-72 on Saturday. "People out there know what I'm capable of and what I can do."
Patterson scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds against the Commodores. Modest numbers for a player of his caliber. But it represented a step forward from the five-point, four-shot no-show at South Carolina.
"A lot better," he said. "I had a horrible game at South Carolina.
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"I think I played pretty well (against Vandy). I could have played a lot better, but I'm satisfied."
Patterson was especially pleased with his career-high three three-pointers. "It felt great," he said. "I wanted to shoot more. The one I missed felt the best."
UK Coach John Calipari, who began one-on-one sessions with Patterson after the South Carolina game, noted UK's defeat earlier in the had many guilty parties, including the coach himself. He also noted how he wanted Patterson to be more assertive.
"He has to be a 17-point, 10-rebound guy," Calipari said before adding, "Let me say this, he's the least of our worries."
Freshman John Wall acknowledged frustration after equalling a career-high seven turnovers. In the past four games, he's had 22 assists and 20 turnovers. He also made only four of 12 shots against Vandy, making him 15 of 40 in the last three games.
"I had no idea," Patterson said when asked about Wall's frustration. "He looks fine in practice. He looks fine when we're around him in the (Wildcat) Lodge and in our rooms.
"I can understand from his point of view. He's not satisfied with his play. He wants to improve. That's the type of competitor he is."
Fans anger Cousins
Freshman DeMarcus Cousins expressed his disappointment with fans who posted critical comments on Patterson's Facebook page after UK lost at South Carolina.
"That really made me mad when they were talking about Eric (Bledsoe) and Patrick," Cousins said. "They've played hard all season. We did play a horrible game. We were already down on ourselves. We were looking for support. For fans to do that, for fans to say bad things, it's not right."
Cousins denies punch
Although a Columbia-based reporter said he saw a UK player lightly punch a fan charging onto the court after Tuesday's game, Cousins denied throwing any punches.
"Nothing happened," he said. "I mean, we were pushing people out of the way. I never threw a punch. I don't know where that came from."
Referee Mike Eades called a technical foul on Vandy Coach Kevin Stallings from the opposite baseline and across the court from the Commodores' bench with 12:57 left.
"I can't remember what I said to get the 'T,'" Stallings said. "But I deserved it. Should I have said it? Probably not."
NBA superstar LeBron James attended the game, did the "Y" to punctuate the K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y cheer and went to the UK locker room after the game.
"I'm kind of used to seeing him," said an unfazed Cousins. "I've seen him so much."
Cousins said he meant on the AAU circuit as a high school player as well as this summer when James toured UK's facilities.
Those in Rupp Arena saw a new sight: a "jib" camera.
ESPN asked UK for permission to use the camera, which is set on the end of a long giraffe-neck-like extension from a three-wheel platform. ESPN wants to use it to pan the seats for crowd reaction.
Russ Pear, UK's Associate Athletic Director for Operations and Facilities, said the school had two concerns: that the camera not block anyone's view of the game and that it be wheeled out of the way when not in use.
So ESPN agreed not to use the camera during game action. It will be used before the game, during timeouts and at halftime, Pear said.
The jib camera came out of the corner tunnel across the end line from the Vanderbilt bench.
If there are no problems, UK will allow ESPN to use the camera in future telecasts from Rupp Arena, Pear said.