"He played in four state championship games. He won three in a row," Gillispie said. "He can handle pressure."
Gillispie also didn't mind Patterson indicating he hoped to earn All-American honors next year and lead Kentucky to a successful season.
"Some may say he is flamboyant. I want him to set his goals as high as possible," Gillispie said. "He's not an arrogant person. His family is very humble.
"Patrick has great leadership capability. It's obvious he is a very strong leader and great winner. He seems like a swing-for-the-fences guy, too. I want a whole team of those. I want players who believe in what they can do."
Gillispie believes both Patterson and fellow signee Alex Legion have the physical capabilities of helping immediately.
"Our job is to continue their physical development, but they are both ahead of most freshmen," Gillispie said.
Gillispie has no doubts Patterson will help next year.
"When you have the physical and mental ability he has and you are a competitor like he is, it is a pretty good combination," the Kentucky coach said.
Gillispie knew many felt UK was recruiting Patterson as part of a package deal with Jai Lucas.
"We recruited Patrick for Patrick," Gillispie said.
Patterson and Kentucky seem like a perfect fit. Kentucky fans expect perfection, and Patterson wants to deliver perfection. What's wrong with that?
Besides, getting Patterson along with Legion, who originally signed with Michigan before being released, sends the needed message that Gillispie is as good as advertised when it comes to recruiting and reinforces the perception that he can restock the talent level at UK that had slipped under Tubby Smith.
How good is Patterson? No one truly knows, but he is ranked higher than Mashburn was even though his offensive game does not seem quite as polished. However, watching Patterson play in all-star games it was obvious that he is a team player, doesn't mind rebounding and will play defense.
Kentucky would have survived without Patterson. Gillispie could still have put UK back in the national championship chase without Patterson. But signing Patterson allows Gillispie's championship hunt to start a lot quicker just as it did when Pitino snared Mashburn.