Patrick Patterson made zero three pointers in his first two seasons at the University of Kentucky.
By his third season, he'd hoisted 69 (making 24 to shoot 34.8 percent) before entering the 2010 NBA Draft. Now Patterson (6-9, 235) has gone from college center to "stretch" power forward thanks to coaches who saw he could live on the perimeter and succeed.
It's a skill that will likely have him in the starting lineup when the Kings open their season Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets.
Patterson said Kentucky coach John Calipari "introduced" him to perimeter play.
"In college I was shocked," Patterson said. "Coach Calipari, Day 1, he had me working out with wings. So I never worked out with (center) DeMarcus (Cousins) and the bigs, I always with the wings working on my perimeter skills, my footwork, my agility."
But Patterson didn't drift out to the NBA three-point line much in his first two seasons with the Houston Rockets. He attempted five (making none) with Houston before Kevin McHale took over as coach.
"Kevin McHale and staff they told me to work on my threes and spacing throughout the floor to make the defense adjust and decide what to do (defensively)," Patterson said.
Patterson attempted 132 threes last season between Sacramento and Houston, making 51 (37.2 percent).
Patterson's experience with the Rockets has benefitted him this season as the Kings look for way to space the floor.
Teams have to decide if they want to double off Patterson and risk leaving him open. Or if they close out hard, Patterson can dribble by for a better shot.
Defenders that won't give Patterson much space create driving and passing lanes for the Kings.
"Due to what I did in Houston it definitely helps me wit this offense," Patterson said.
The space is what makes Patterson different from Jason Thompson, who has a nice jump shot, but isn't a threat from deep.
That puts Thompson in some of the same areas Cousins would like the ball.
Patterson gives the Kings a different look they when they don't want to go with a more traditional look with Cousins and Thompson.
Cousins hasn't had a problem sharing the floor with his old college teammate.
"I think we complement each other well," Cousins said. "We played together at Kentucky so we already kind of had chemistry. He knows what I like to do, I know what he likes to do and we're never really in each other's way so I think it's a good look."