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.
New IUPUI head coach Jason Gardner has quite the rebuilding task ahead of him, with the Jaguars coming off of a season in which they won just six games and finished last in the Summit League standings (1-13). Saturday afternoon the Jaguars picked up their second win of the season, as a P.J. Boutte floater as time expired gave IUPUI a 71-69 win over Ball State.
Boutte’s shot (which can be seen at the 1:59 mark in the video above) capped a wild sequence in which IUPUI nearly committed a backcourt violation, with the junior guard collecting the wayward pass from Marcellus Barksdale just before it crossed the half-court line and then making his way towards the basket.
Boutte, who finished the game with 16 points and six assists, earned one last opportunity for IUPUI by picking up his third steal of the game on Ball State’s final offensive possession.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen. The only thing that was going through my mind was we were just trying to win,” Boutte said, according to IUPUI’s Ed Holdaway. “We’d been fighting hard all game and fortunately I was able to get the ball and get that shot.”
IUPUI recently unveiled a new court design in the Fairgrounds Coliseum that includes the skyline of Indianapolis on the floor in a silhouette.
The school released photos of the new floor on the team’s Twitter this week and it looks pretty cool.
New head coach Jason Gardner has some talented transfers coming into the equation and he could have the program talented enough to compete in the Summit League soon.
But in the meantime, what do you think of the new floor?
Jason Gardner has only been on the job as the head coach at IUPUI for a month, but he has already earned commitments from four transfers.
On Wednesday, Gardner added his fifth transfer commitment. Jordan Pickett, a 6-foot freshman point guard that played in just five games last season, committed to play for the Jaguars. The news was first reported by Kyle Neddenriep.
What’s interesting is that Pickett is actually the third transfer that Gardner has added from Loyola (IL), where he used to be an assistant coach before moving on to Memphis. None of them were stars, so it may not get all that much attention — Pickett played in just five games due to injuries, 6-foot-8 sophomore Matt O’Leary averaged just 4.2 points and 3.0 boards, and Nick Osborne, another 6-foot-8 sophomore, averaged 5.4 points and 4.0 boards — but it is interesting that Gardner is mining a roster that he helped recruit.
The other two transfers that Gardner has added are Leo Svete from Western Michigan and Darell Combs from Eastern Michigan.
It was announced earlier this month that Todd Howard would not return as head coach at IUPUI next season. Non-BCS level programs will sometimes wait until the Final Four weekend to make a decision, using the event as a semi-clandestine interview session, but athletic director Michael Moore did not want to wait an extra seven days — ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting there is a verbal agreement between IUPUI and Memphis assistant Jason Gardner to be the program’s next head coach.
A former guard at Arizona, and an assistant under Josh Pastner for only one season (he also had a stint on Loyola Chicago’s bench), Gardner is an Indiana native, and Moore clearly has confidence that while he has only been a coach for several seasons, he is ready to lead his own program for the first time.
One benefit of this possible hire (since it has not been officially announced by the school) is how it affects the transfer of ex-Purdue guard Ronnie Johnson. While a Tiger, Gardner had been gauging Johnson’s interest in transferring to the AAC program, and now that he is at IUPUI, he could make a pitch from one Indiana native to another to restart his college career at the Summit League school.