BREAKING NEWS: Patrick Patterson Leaves Kentucky for Duke

Marc DaleyAnalyst IApril 1, 2008

Kentucky freshman forward Patrick Patterson, whose stellar debut campaign was cut short by a foot injury, stunned fans across the Commonwealth with his announcement that he will leave the program to play for rival Duke and coach Mike Krzyzweski.

"I will miss the friends I have made in Lexington," Patterson said. "But in order for me to prepare for life beyond college this is the best move for me."

Patterson provided UK's best inside presence during an 18-13 season that was marred by injuries to guard Jodie Meeks and Derrick Jasper as well as the transfer of Alex Legion to Illinois.

Early speculation centered on UK Coach Billy Gillispie's hard practices and demanding style. Patterson quickly quashed that rumor during his press conference.

"That's definitely false.  If anything, Coach Gillispie was a huge benefit to my development.  All the blisters and the broken bones will be worth it in the long run."

With no inside presence immediately available for the 08-09 season, Gillispie has focused his recruiting efforts on Apo Francis-Daye. Daye is a 6-10 center who has spent this year at the famed Oak Hill Academy, where he averaged 30.1 points and 15.0 rebounds.

Daye is also considering Georgetown, UCLA and Texas but threw Indiana out of the mix due to the recent turmoil in Bloomington.