After three straight scoreless games, Addison Patterson scored six points in the second half on Thursday as the No. 17 Oregon's men's basketball team pulled away for a 68-60 win over No. 16 Colorado.
“Six points feels like 30,” Patterson said.
Like most four-star recruits, Patterson arrived at Oregon with a high-scoring prep resume when he reclassified to join the Ducks a year early from Bella Vista College Prep in Scottsdale, Ariz. The 6-foot-6 guard was averaging 3.6 points per game before nearly doubling that number against the Buffaloes.
“It was hard when I first came here, that was something I’m not used to,” he said. “I know coach (Dana) Altman knows what he is doing and all the coaches on the staff know what they are doing, so it is about putting trust in them and letting them guide you in the right direction and that can take you a long way. Coach gave me the chance tonight and I’m happy I could help us.”
Patterson was 3-for-4 from the field in 12 minutes against Colorado. He had season highs with three steals and two assists.
“Addy did a great job,” Altman said. “He earned that. He has been working hard the last couple weeks and doing a better job. He not only had 12 minutes of real positive things, but there were no negatives. He blocked out well and went after balls. I thought as much as anybody, his second-half performance was very good.”
Patterson played nearly half of the second half when Oregon (19-6) rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to beat the Buffaloes and move back into a tie for first place with Colorado in the Pac-12 Conference at 8-4.
Will Richardson tossed a lob to Patterson for a dunk that put Oregon ahead 63-58 with 2:12 left to play and then Patterson got a steal that led to a layup by Payton Pritchard to cap a 12-0 run.
“I saw him and thought I had to give it to him,” said Richardson, who is Patterson’s roommate. “He has been working hard, staying late in the gym every day. It was time to reward him.”
Patterson scored 17 points in his second game for the Ducks against Boise State and was averaging 5.4 points entering Pac-12 play. He had a total of 10 points in nine conference games before facing the Buffaloes.
“I have been putting in more work than ever,” the 6-foot-6 Patterson said. “As much as I thought I was working at the beginning of the season, coach told me that it’s not enough. Everyone on this team is working so you have to do extra to separate yourself and get to that level. I have been doing that and coach gave me a chance and I took advantage.”
Altman said Patterson got a spark when his parents, Rod and Jackie, visited during a recent homestand.
“He has put in more time and been more focused at practice,” Altman said. “He earned his shot tonight. It is tough for freshmen because everyone is a scorer in high school, everyone is a star.”
Before he reclassified, Patterson was ranked among the top 50 recruits in the 2020 class by every major recruiting service. The Milton, Ontario, native payed for Canada’s under-17 team and averaged 16.5 points last summer on the Nike EYBL circuit.
Patterson did not get off the bench in two Pac-12 games and has played a total of 55 minutes in the other 10.
“Everyone wants to be a star,” Altman said. “It is hard on guys. With social media, everyone should be getting 20 points and playing 35 minutes, but that’s just not the way it works. It is difficult, especially when you are trying to win a Pac-12 championship and compete at a high level. There are going to be highs and lows and we try to explain that to guys. You hope they are patient enough to work through the ups and downs and trust you a bit.”
Patterson said he never lost his confidence and was just waiting for the opportunity that arrived Thursday.
“When coach put me in late in the game, I was trying to bring energy and do what I could to help the team,” he said.