Ron Patterson

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IUPUI lands former Syracuse guard Ron Patterson

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After spending two seasons as a member of the Syracuse program, guard Ron Patterson is headed back to his home state to complete his college career.

Sunday morning Patterson, who at one point was an Indiana signee, announced via Twitter his decision to transfer to IUPUI. After sitting out the 2015-16 season Patterson will have two seasons of eligibility under IUPUI head coach Jason Gardner.

Patterson played sparingly as a freshman but saw his minutes increase in 2014-15, as he played just under 14 minutes per game for Jim Boeheim’s Orange. Averaging 2.6 points and 1.7 assists per game, Patterson struggled mightily with his perimeter shot.

With a year to hone his skill set, the hope is that Patterson will regain the confidence in his shot that made him a target for multiple high-major programs during his high school years. Patterson didn’t fully qualify at Indiana, which resulted in his spending a season at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire before joining the Syracuse program in 2013.

In addition to Patterson the Jaguars have three freshmen joining the program this summer, including 6-foot-2 point guard T.J. Henderson.

Two players transferring could help Syracuse with impending scholarship restrictions

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Despite not being in the NCAA tournament, Syracuse made news on Thursday.

Hours before Notre Dame and Northeastern tipped to start the Round of 64, Jim Boeheim held a press conference to address the sanctions imposed on his program, the most impactful of which was a loss of 12 scholarships over a four-year period. However, by Thursday afternoon, the Syracuse scholarship situation became a little bit clearer.

Sophomore B.J. Johnson announced he would transfer. Fellow sophomore Ron Patterson did the same shortly after.

Syracuse is graduating Rakeem Christmas this spring and has four commits set to join the program this fall, putting the Orange at the maximum 13 scholarship limit. Matthew Moyer, a 2016 recruit, is also committed to Syracuse and like the four 2015 signees, he too has said he still intends on attending Syracuse.

The 2016-17 season would have been problematic. Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije both graduating would free up two more scholarships, but the Orange would still be one over the limit entering that season. Even if Syracuse had lost Chris McCullough to the 2016 NBA Draft, there still wouldn’t have been room for Moyer.

As Mike Waters of the Post-Standard points out, the departures of Johnson and Patterson make it possible for the Syracuse coaching staff to continue its pursuit of Huntington Prep (West Virginia) 2015 big man Thomas Bryant and 2016 wing Tyus Battle of Gill St. Bernard’s High (New Jersey). In November, Bryant cut his list to Syracuse, Indiana and Missouri. The Orange are one of seven finalists for the services of Battle.

Johnson, the 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 4.2 points and 3.6 boards per game. Ron Patterson, the former Indiana commit, averaged 2.6 points per game. Each logged less than 15 minutes a contest.

Missed free throws lead to humorous exchange between Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and Ron Patterson

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Saturday’s game at Virginia Tech was a somewhat frustrating affair for Syracuse despite the fact that they managed to hang on for the 68-66 victory. The Orange shot just 39 percent from the field and 57.1% of their free throws for the game, and they were also outscored by 17 points in the second half.

Trevor Cooney led four Syracuse players in double figures with 18 points but shot just 6-for-21 from the field, and Tyler Roberson (11 points, 17 rebounds) grabbed 17 boards in a game for the second time this season.

But back to the free throws, with one of the offenders being guard Ron Patterson, who made just two of his six attempts with his two misses with 4.3 seconds remaining giving Virginia Tech one last shot at the win (which didn’t fall). Following the game Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim asked Patterson about the free throws, and the response given by the sophomore is one that caught Boeheim off-guard according to Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard.

“Ronnie said ‘Well, it was close,”’ Boeheim said. “I said ‘Close? Really? Close?’ We’re in college here. This isn’t high school. My kids when they were in 8th grade said that. It was close? Close isn’t helpful here. That was the quote of the year for me.”

Patterson sheepishly acknowledged his close comment, but insisted that he thought both of his late free throws were going in the basket.

“I thought it was in,” Patterson said. “It just rattled in and out. That’s all. It looked good. It felt good.”

With Syracuse winning the game Patterson’s response is one they can take some amusement from, but that is an area where the Orange as a team need to get better. On the season the Orange are shooting 66 percent from the foul line, and the fact that they’re in the bottom half of the ACC in free throw rate makes the chances they do get even more important.

Given how competitive the ACC will be, and the fact that Syracuse continues to go through stretches in which they struggle from the field, those foul shots will be important moving forward.

Ron Patterson, Rakeem Christmas spark second-half comeback for Syracuse (VIDEO)

Rakeem Christmas
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The Carleton Ravens should be familiar to the more astute college basketball fans out there, with the Canadian college basketball power showing up on schedules as an opponent either during an NCAA team’s summer trip to Canada or in the preseason. And the Ravens have enjoyed some success in recent years, beating Wisconsin last summer and beating Memphis twice during the Tigers’ trip north of the border this past summer.

Carleton’s won ten of the last 12 Canadian national titles, and on Sunday they played an exhibition against Syracuse for the second consecutive year. Led by brothers Phillip and Thomas Scrubb the Ravens led by as many as 15 at one point, only to see sophomore guard Ron Patterson and senior forward Rakeem Christmas spark a second-half comeback for the Orange.

Patterson scored 12 of his 15 points and Christmas scored all 13 of his in the second half as Syracuse won by the final score of 76-68. Of course freshmen Kaleb Joseph and Chris McCullough will get much of the early attention for the Orange, given both their talent and the production Syracuse lost from last season’s team (Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant), but the “supplementary” options will be just as important in 2014-15.

All 12 of Patterson’s second half points came from beyond the arc, and area that proved to be problematic for Syracuse last season. The Orange shot just 33.1% from three in 2013-14, a figure that ranked tenth in the ACC. Of course much was made of their issues putting points on the board as well, with Syracuse’s ability to hit the offensive glass aiding them for much of the season, and with Christmas, McCullough and Tyler Roberson the Orange have the bodies needed to earn second-chance opportunities.

But as we saw during their season ending stretch of six losses in their last nine games, that won’t be enough. If a player of Patterson’s caliber can step forward, and Trevor Cooney avoids the slump he was mired in for much of last season, Syracuse will be better equipped to account for the loss of three of their top four scorers. Joseph led Syracuse offensively with 19 points to go along with four assists (one turnover), and McCullough added 14 to go along with six rebounds. And after struggling defensively in the first half Syracuse limited Carleton to 29 points in the second.

Above are highlights from the exhibition, courtesy of Syracuse Athletics.

Can Ron Patterson step up for Syracuse in his sophomore season?

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With Syracuse losing freshman point guard Tyler Ennis to the NBA Draft, the Orange are left with plenty of questions about their backcourt entering the 2014-15 season.

Sophomore shooting guard Trevor Cooney returns to the starting lineup and Syracuse added four-star point guard Kaleb Joseph to the equation, but after those two, depth becomes a huge concern for the Orange, much like it was last season.

Head coach Jim Boeheim can’t expect a true freshman like Joseph to match the incredible season that Ennis just had, so Syracuse has to hope that freshman guard Ron Patterson continues to develop over the summer as he heads into his sophomore season.

Patterson recently worked with his former grassroots coach, Chris Hawkins, as the coach spoke with Mike McAllister of CuseNation.com to break down the plan for Patterson’s summer improvement.

One of the critical areas of improvement for Patterson will be shooting more consistently from the perimeter. The freshman only shot 31 percent from three-point range last season.

”The first day, we really just focused on shooting,” Hawkins said to McAllister. “Working on his mechanics and coming off of screens. Things like double baseline screens where when he comes off of it, we try to get his footwork right. Going straight up on his jumper, just trying to get his mechanics right.

”Anything we can do to make sure he’s shooting consistently.”

Since Joseph doesn’t have much help at the point, the duo also worked on Patterson’s handle as the guard plans to spend the summer on campus working as well.

”We also worked on ball handling,” Hawkins said to McAllister. “Some cone drills to help him come off of screens. Working on tightening up his handle so he can work in small spaces, so he can push through double teams and things like that. Coming off the screen to be able to isolate him one on one so he can take guys off the dribble.

”Working on different angles that coach McNamara likes to do with him during one on one workouts. Just getting him a lower handle and a solid base. Being able to push off and be more explosive in smaller spaces. Being able to take one or two dribbles and get to the rim. We’re trying to make sure he’s ready to play so he can be a big time player for them next year.”

More than anything, it’s interesting to hear that Patterson is working on playing both guard spots to potentially spell Cooney or Joseph. Syracuse could really use a third guard to give Cooney more rest so his shot doesn’t become more flat like it did at the end of last season and Joseph is a true freshman and it’s uncertain how he’ll adapt to the ACC.

What happened to ‘The Movement’?

Yogi Ferrell
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Indiana’s 2012 recruiting class was supposed to be a special group. The quintet, which included Yogi Ferrell, Ron Patterson, Peter Jurkin, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, and Jeremy Hollowell, had been dubbed ‘The Movement’ by Patterson, and coach Tom Crean’s remarks upon receiving their letters of intent confirmed the group’s significance: “We believe this is a class that has an opportunity to develop into a very special group … who [will] bring explosiveness and energy immediately to the program.”

Other than Ferrell, however, it is still debatable whether the other three will positively contribute to the Hoosiers’ stat sheet (Patterson failed to meet Indiana’s enrollment requirements, enrolled at Brewster Academy for a year, and now dots Syracuse’s roster). Due to various injuries, Jurkin has barely stepped onto the court, playing just eighteen minutes in his IU career, and following his arrest this weekend on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Mosquera-Perea has been suspended indefinitely. Hollowell has shown flashes — he has upped both his offensive efficiency rating and attempted shots percentage as a sophomore — but the 6-foot-8 forward hasn’t played twenty or more minutes since early January.

On Monday, Crean took to the airwaves (specifically his weekly radio show) and was asked whether the 2012 class is a disappointment. According to a recap from InsidetheHall.com, Crean mentioned the group was not saddled with “unrealistic expectations” by the IU coaching staff, but he did note that Hollowell has “not played to the level of his abilities“.

The silver lining, of course, is Ferrell. The guard has quietly turned in an outstanding sophomore performance, and one could make a case that Ferrell is underrated nationally. Ferrell has noticeably tightened his handle, and despite the Hoosiers’ three-game losing streak, Ferrell become a frequent presence at the free throw strip, posting a free throw rate of 46 percent.

It was likely unfair to assume ‘The Movement’ would lead the program to its first title in over 25 years, but it is also worth noting that the group simply hasn’t progressed to the level their recruiting rankings suggested. Only three other Big Ten squads depend on their bench more than Indiana, and the sophomores’ slow growth has largely contributed to Crean’s reliance on his frosh. Noah Vonley, Troy Williams, and Stanford Robinson might seen significant minutes because of IU’s lack of upperclassmen, but one has to wonder if they would have used as much if the majority of ‘The Movement’ could have been effective on the court.