You can make a very good argument that the past week was the best basketball Manny Patterson has played so far in his collegiate career.
The 6’8” junior forward from Chicago averaged 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game in his last 3 games – all Green Bay victories. That’s a big jump from the 5.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game he was putting up in the 29 games prior.
He scored 14 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and collected 5 blocks in 20 productive minutes in a 102-92 victory over Youngstown State last Thursday and followed that up with an 11 point, 8 rebound performance in 26 minutes a couple of days later in a 74-67 victory over Cleveland State, a game in which the team was a game-high +16 while he was on the floor.
Thursday’s victory over Oakland in the Horizon League Tournament quarterfinals may have been his best performance yet. He scored 8 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a season-high 32 minutes – not earth shattering numbers by any means – but he contributed on both ends of the floor, particularly defensively against All-Horizon First Team big man Xavier Hill-Mais helping the Phoenix hold him to 13 points in the game.
It had to feel good for Patterson, who in the game prior to this solid three game stretch had a disappointing outing in Green Bay’s 92-88 double overtime loss at Oakland where he was held to just 2 points and only played 15 minutes due to foul trouble.
“Manny did a good job,” associate head coach Randall Herbst told Brian Kuklinski on WDUZ radio after Green Bay’s quarterfinal victory on Thursday. “We showed film time and time and time again in the two days that we had to prep after Oakland won Tuesday night. At Oakland, Manny got in some serious foul trouble because we were buying all of [Hill-Mais’] shot fakes, he’s very creative down there. He’s got a good repertoire of going both ways and shot fakes and up and unders. Manny was pretty disciplined tonight, so good for him.”
“Offensively too, we struggled a couple of times in the first half and Manny got it and he had good discipline and used his left hand and got to the rim a couple times.”
Patterson’s recent production shouldn’t come as a surprise as he has proven to be an effective and productive player when he’s on the floor. In fact, Green Bay is 6-2 in games in which he plays at least 25 minutes and in those 8 games he’s averaging 12.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting a blistering 71.2% from the floor. He also ranks in the top 25 (22nd) in Horizon League career rebounding percentage since 2009 according to SportsReference.com, a stat that estimates the percentage of available rebounds a player grabs while in the game.
Patterson had a big game in the first meeting with Northern Kentucky back on December 30th at BB&T Arena scoring 15 points – his season high against a Division I opponent – and grabbing 10 rebounds while shooting 6-8 (75.0%) from the floor in 30 minutes of action helping the Phoenix to a dominant 73-59 victory over the Norse.
However, he was a non-factor in the two teams’ most recent match up back in January at the Kress Center, a 71-62 NKU victory where he was held scoreless and only played 8 minutes.
Green Bay will likely need Patterson to remain productive if it hopes to win its next two games and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016.
(Photo via Green Bay Phoenix Athletics)
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