High school basketball players only get five college official visits as juniors.
When New Jersey forward Trey Patterson announced that he would be using one of those five allotted visits to spend this weekend in Bloomington, it immediately became clear that he is taking IU’s interest in him seriously.
Coming from a basketball family, the class of 2021 star is intrigued by Indiana basketball.
“He’s a basketball guy, and he knows that there’s a basketball tradition there and he wants to see it,” Patterson’s high school coach Matt Bloom told The Daily Hoosier.
IU offered the top 40 wing in June, and the Hoosier coaching staff has made it clear that Patterson is a top target.
Assistant coach Bruiser Flint has been leading the charge for Indiana.
“Coach Flint was here on campus and he has done a great job with him,” Rutgers Prep head coach Bloom said.
What intrigues Indiana and the dozens of other schools that have offered Patterson a scholarship is an impressive physique for a high school junior and a versatile skill set that marries up to the modern college game.
“He has a college ready body, and he is as versatile of a player as there is out there,” Bloom said. “There’s nothing that he can’t do on a basketball court, and he’s now just trying to figure out when to do what.
While a “positionless basketball player” can be an overused phrase, Bloom believes Patterson is worthy of that description, especially on the defensive end.
“I don’t peg him in a position, and obviously at the highest level it’s going to be about who he can guard,” Bloom said.
“I think he can guard everybody. He can guard one through five, and not many people can guard him one on one. He’s versatile, he’s a mismatch problem, and he’s unique. That’s why a lot of college coaches are excited about him.”
The 6-foot-8, 4-star rated Patterson averaged 19 points and 9.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Rutgers Prep.
Early in his junior year, Patterson is emerging as a leader of his Somerset, N.J. high school squad.
“He’s always led by example even when he was younger,” Bloom said.
“But this past summer as he’s emerged as an upperclassmen, it’s really become his team. Now that Trey’s a veteran, he’s definitely embracing that big brother leader role. He’s been a captain, but now everything that we thought would be there (in terms of leadership) is coming. His teammates look up to him and want him to do well and he leads.”
Patterson’s father played college basketball at St. Francis (Pa.) and his mom played at Seton Hall.
With that pedigree Patterson was destined to be a basketball player, but his coach believes that it is more than just natural gifts that has led to early success.
“His work ethic and character are second to none,” Bloom said.
Patterson and his coach have a plan for continuing his development.
“Shooting, ball handling, basketball IQ are all things that we’ll be fine tuning,” Bloom added. “I’m going to push him and he wants to be pushed. He’s the type of kid that wants to be coached and wants to continue to get better.”
Patterson’s parents aren’t just grooming a basketball player.
Bloom believes that his young player is the complete package that will become a great representative of whatever school he chooses.
“What separates him is his character and his academic strengths,” Bloom said. “He loves doing well in the classroom, he wants to do well, and he’s going to be successful in life. He’s going to be a guy that wherever he goes, that school is going to be proud of him for years to come.”
The fact that IU got an official visit clearly indicates that they are a legitimate contender for Patterson.
But Patterson’s recruitment is still in its very early stages.
What is going to seal the deal for a college from Bloom’s perspective?
“He’s going to listen and observe and make the best decision based on fit.”
As Patterson’s coach, Bloom is just going to enjoy the process, and enjoy two more years with a special talent.
“I’m excited to coach him, I’m excited for his future, and he’s an absolute joy to coach,” Bloom said. “He’s a great kid, great student. He checks all those boxes.”
“Wherever he goes, they’re getting a good one.”
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