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Sitting Ringside

Lamar leads the way

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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.”

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Author: Kevin Gorman

Kevin Gorman is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media who covers the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, college and prep sports in an interactive, multimedia platform. His family roots to Pittsburgh run four generations deep, a story steeped in the city’s history. His ancestors worked in the steel mill and on the railroad, invented Austin’s household products and walked the beat as a city cop. A street in Oakland is named for his great-grandfather, who was a Pittsburgh Police captain. That street, as pictured, was the inspiration for the name of this blog. Gorman joined the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in August 1999, became a sports columnist in September 2009 and has won multiple Pennsylvania Newspaper Association awards for his sports columns. He has covered the Steelers in the Super Bowl and Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final, the Pirates in the Major League Baseball playoffs, as well as the MLB All-Star Game, the U.S. Open at Oakmont, the Rose, Capital One, Citrus and Sun bowls, the ACC, Big East and NCAA basketball tournaments and WPIAL and PIAA championship events. Gorman has been the beat writer for Pitt football and men’s and women’s basketball, and has covered high school sports and recruiting. He served as color analyst for FSN Pittsburgh/Root Sports for the WPIAL football and basketball championships and as guest analyst for the Trib Total Media High School Edition. A graduate of Baldwin High School and Penn State University, Gorman has worked at newspapers in Memphis, Phoenix, Dallas and Kansas City. He has a son, Kieran, and comes from a large Irish-Catholic family whose roots are in Oakland, 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. Email kgorman@tribweb.com or follow on Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

 
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