Patrick Patterson goes 14th to Houston

Patrick Patterson slipped later in the first round than most observers expected, but he did make it into the draft’s lottery.

Patterson went 14th to the Houston Rockets, where he’ll join former Wildcat Chuck Hayes, and in fact might challenge Hayes’ job.

Patterson deserves what he gets. He returned to UK when he had a chance to be drafted a year ago, hoping to be part of a special season in Lexington.

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said of Patterson: “He’s an absolute man. A very good defender. Can step out and score on pick and rolls and can step out and guard fairly well. … He’s a worker and a man and a really tough, tough player.”

Patterson is UK’s third lottery pick of this draft — matching the 1996 national championship team, with two more players — Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton — still expected to have a shot at going in the first round.

When asked what he hopes to contribute in Houston, Patterson told ESPN: “Whatever the coaching staff and teammates want me to do, that’s what I’ll do.”

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