Pittsburgh Basketball: Lamar Patterson Is The Real Deal

By Gregory Philson
Lamar Patterson
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Panthers forward Lamar Patterson is showing everyone in the ACC he is a player ready to be in the spotlight.

Patterson has all the makings to become an impact player in the conference not just because he is a great scorer, a solid rebounder and a skilled passer. He is a star because he is all of these and adds in strong leadership.

Patterson is averaging 15.6 points-per game, 4.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists five games into the season. These numbers only give a small sample of how valuable he is to coach Jamie Dixon‘s Panthers. During Pittsburgh’s easy victory over Texas Tech Monday, Patterson played an excellent all-around game where he put on an artistic showcase of what he can do. Patterson dominated early and it was his ability to score (23 points), pass (four assists) and rebound (three rebounds) that led to the romp. Patterson put the Red Raiders on their heels with 14 points in the first 20 minutes to help the Panthers lead the Raiders 41-18 at the break.

Patterson is a perfect fit in the Panthers’ system because he does not do anything too risky but can still frustrate defenses. Patterson plays very controlled at all times. Pitt’s defense is always highly rated, but Patterson’s ability to guide the offense and keep a steady pace could make the Panthers as efficient on offense as any other ACC team.

The Panthers will take on the Stanford Cardinal in the Progressive Legends Classic Championship Tuesday, and it is likely they will win going away. Pitt has a solid chance of remaining undefeated until conference play, but the time between now and then should allow Patterson to get the respect he deserves. Patterson’s all-around game can change the balance of power in the ACC. If other teams aren’t thinking about him more yet they will be when he is dominating conference games.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC college basketball at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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