UK Men's Basketball

Meeks, Patterson optimistic about hire

Neither Patrick Patterson nor Jodie Meeks has decided what his future holds, but each sounded optimistic about the future of Kentucky basketball under John Calipari.

The two Kentucky stars were in class when the news conference about their new coach was held, but they met with Calipari on Wednesday morning, and both seemed pleased with the hire.

"We know the possibilities that could be next year. Jodie and I always talk about the future," Patterson said through UK media relations. "We always talk about what could be, what could possibly be in the future with Kentucky and with this great coach we have in Calipari right now. We're just looking forward to it, and I'm sure we'll come to a decision soon."

Meeks said he's watched Calipari's style of play at Memphis and that it's "very exciting.

"We're just ready to get started and can't wait to see what his philosophy is coaching."

The junior UK guard said he hasn't thought much about a jump to the NBA.

"That's something my family and I have to discuss," he said. "We discussed it a little bit but haven't made a final decision or even close to that. I'm going to give (Calipari) a fair chance. He seems like a really good guy, and I'm really looking forward to being under his coaching."

Patterson admitted that time in Calipari's system might make him a better pro prospect down the road.

"I know I need to improve my game with him," the sophomore forward said. "I know he can help me out tremendously, not only just as a post player inside, but he can help me on the perimeter as well, driving to the basket, working on my ballhandling and my jump shot.

"I know that, if I stay another year, I will most likely improve tremendously. I know that those are areas of my game that I need to improve on whether it's here or at the next level. It's just something I need to think about."

Patterson never has played in an NCAA Tournament game, and the possibility of that under Calipari might be a big draw for the UK big man.

"I've thought about the possibilities of an NCAA championship, the possibility of a Final Four or being one of the elite teams in the country if everything works out how everyone wants it to," Patterson said.

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