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Lamar leads the way

Lamar Patterson is coming off the best week of his college basketball career, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the fifth-year senior swingman was named ACC player of the week.
Aside from the statistics, what people around Pitt are noticing is Lamar’s leadership. Pitt coach Jamie Dixon noted that Patterson, who had recorded career highs in back-to-back games against Texas Tech and Stanford, passed up a scoring chance that would have given him at least 20 points for the third consecutive game to find an open Chris Jones for a basket.
“He’s unselfish,” Dixon said. “The play at the end, where he looks to get Chris Jones a shot … that spoke volumes.”
It’s not just in games, either.
Pitt freshman forward Mike Young said Patterson, who also spent his senior season at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, has taken him under his wing since his arrival and shown him how to play the Panthers’ way.
“He’s a great leader: always calm, always collected, always under control, never rattled,” Young said. “Him being here five years, he’s very experienced and being versatile himself, he knows every position.”
Patterson said Brad Wanamaker did the same for him when he first came to Pitt, treating him like “his little brother,” so he’s simply paying it forward.
“He showed me the ins and outs of how to play for coach Dixon, how to play college basketball,” Patterson said.
Patterson, by the way, needs 86 points, 53 rebounds and 89 assists to become the third player in Pitt history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists in a career. Wanamaker and Carl Krauser are the others to accomplish the feat.
“Just to be mentioned with those guys,” Patterson said, “is a great honor.”
The honor, his teammates say, is playing with Patterson.
And, ultimately, for him.
“What he brings to the team is a lot of leadership. He’s been around, so he’s been through the battles,” point guard James Robinson said. “This is his last year. As younger guys, when we see him putting in extra time on the court, we owe it to him and Talib to make sure we bring our best effort because we want to send them out the right way.”

Author: Kevin Gorman

Kevin Gorman is an award-winning sports columnist who also covers Pitt men's basketball for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Gorman, 40, joined the Tribune-Review in August 1999 and has been a sports columnist since September 2009. He won Pennsylvania Newspaper Association first-place awards for sports columns in 2011 and '12, and has covered the Super Bowl and Stanley Cup Final twice each, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the Rose, Citrus and Sun bowls and the Big East and NCAA basketball tournaments. Gorman spent three years as the Pitt football beat writer and seven years covering high school sports and recruiting, and also has served as color analyst for FSN Pittsburgh/Root Sports on the WPIAL football and basketball championships and as guest analyst for its Trib Total Media High School Edition and hosts a TribLIVE Sports Radio show from 2-3 p.m. every Friday. He has worked at newspapers in Memphis, Phoenix, Dallas and Kansas City, which makes him something of an expert on barbecue and sunscreen. A graduate of Baldwin High School and Penn State University, Gorman has a son, Kieran, and comes from a large Irish-Catholic family whose roots are in Greenfield and Mt. Washington. Don’t be surprised if you run into one of his cousins; considering there are more than 100, be surprised if you don’t.

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