|Packed stadium.|Lamar Patterson
, Pittsburgh, Senior, 6'6 212lbs2013/14 stats:
32.6 mpg, 17.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.3 bpg, 2.0 fpg, 2.6 TOpg, 44.1% FG, 38.8% 3PT, 75.4% FT
As opposed to all the shooting specialists on this list, Patterson is instead a primary playmaking guard. With the body of a two guard and the game of a point forward, Patterson differs from pretty much the entire rest of the crop in this list by being a pass-first player. Or at least, he used to be. After a big scoring uptick as a senior, that distinction is now much harder to make.
Patterson's offensive development has come mostly from a much improved jump shot, as well as much more willingness to use it. His decision making has always been a strength, but would never hunt his shot all that much. Now, though, Patterson has struck the balance between being a primary scoring option and a great playmaker.
A very high IQ player with vision, decision making and unselfishness, Patterson has also become a fine spot-up shooter from both mid and long range. Although he still somewhat lacks a pull-up jumper, Patterson can also be run off screens for jump shot looks, yet also uses these screens to sneak attack his way to the basket. Lacking explosiveness to get to the basket, Patterson gets there anyway through craftiness and hesitations, and finishes well considering he is a below-the-rim player.
Patterson can play on or off the ball, his versatility being a main virtue. While not a primary ball handler in getting the ball over half court - there's no need for him to be, really - Patterson does a good amoount of ball handling once in the front court and makes plenty of plays out of the pick-and-roll. He doesn't play in the full court much, his lack of elite athleticism somewhat hindering here, but his all-around game also translates to the defensive end, where his average athleticism is offset by a decent wingspan, toughness, good reads, a high effort level and quick hands. Patterson also crashes the glass well for a perimeter player, his guile and tenacity once again overcoming a lack of elite explosiveness.
From an NBA perspective, adding an efficient high volume jump shot has given Patterson a chance. His lack of elite athleticism might keep him on the fringes, but his high skill level and knowledge of what to do with it gets him to them.