Last Saturday’s IU Recruit Classic in
Buss Patterson is, in my opinion, incredibly underrated. The kid is still pretty raw as he has only been playing basketball for a few years. He only gained true interest in the sport in high school, but he’s a natural at it. Still incredibly unpolished he does a very good job of using his college sized body to average 20 points a game. Much like Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey of two years ago he has all the tools to get the job done at the next level, but doesn’t quite have the skills yet.
At 6’3" and 195 lbs. he has a good physical body to translate to success at the next level. What is probably the most interesting characteristic about him is his near 7 foot wingspan. That is the kind of length that makes you a menace to try and get around on the perimeter. I believe this is where his most potent contribution will be at the next level. He is still just a bit undisciplined on the defensive end but in high school his body can make up for it. In college he’ll have to learn some of the tricks of the trade, but he is very capable of being a lockdown defender. Buss is a hardnosed, motor player that has explosive athleticism and if he can learn some tricks to keep his guy in front of him without biting at the jukes, he’ll be a fan favorite on that end of the floor.
Offensively, though he is setting scoring records he still has some work to do. Patterson can shoot out to 20-22 feet but still struggles with some consistency in his jumper. He elevates really well on his jump shot but has a tendency to fade in one direction or the other instead of going straight into it. This likely accounts for most of the inaccuracies in his shot.
Around the basket Buss has some pretty good touch. This is a lot of where he has made his living. Though not an exceptional ball handler, he is a very strong slashing guard that finishes well when he gets to the rim. Because of his ability to use his body to muscle into the lane he gets to the line pretty consistently. More often than not he’ll convert on those as well. As a slasher his one true weakness is going to his left. He can do it, but it isn’t nearly as strong as he does going to his right. Therefore he struggles to create his own shot off the dribble if it isn’t a layup.
All in all, Patterson is a great addition to the 2012 class and doesn’t get nearly the recognition he deserves. Look for him to be the next Will Sheehey/Vic Oladipo by showing flashes as a freshman and then storming onto the scene as a sophomore. He needs a year under a collegiate coaching staff, but get his physical build in a weight room with Je’Ney Jackson and on the practice court with Crean and company and he could be one of those special diamonds in the rough. As highly rated and talented as the 2012 class is, I would venture to say that Patterson has the best chance of the five of becoming a fan favorite with his motor.