"But I don't have any second thoughts at all about coming to Auburn and not Kentucky. I don't think about that."
Barber had 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots in Saturday's 85-71 win over Alabama that gave Auburn (11-6) its first Southeastern Conference win. He's averaging 12.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots per game. He's also shooting 55.8 percent from the field.
"I am playing more physical, I can shoot a lot better, my free throws are better and I am defending better in the post and on the perimeter. Everything is good. The injury I had last year slowed me down, but I got better and now I am fine," he said.
Still, he knows playing against Patterson is a challenge for any SEC post player.
"Patterson is a beast. He doesn't stop working in the post. He is real physical in the post. I like his game. He's as good, or maybe better, than anybody in this league and when you play him, you better be prepared for a war because he takes no prisoners," Barber said.
Teammate Quantez Robertson, a guard, knows Patterson creates just as many problems as UK's top scorer, Jodie Meeks, does.
"I was really impressed with the way he developed over the season last year and how aggressive he was on offense and defense," Robertson said. "He played at a speed like a guard for a big man, and still does. You don't see that much from a big guy. He is very energetic. He is everywhere and just has a knack for finding the ball when you don't think he can."
'He was never afraid'
Robertson thinks UK fans will eventually be impressed by transfer Matt Pilgrim, too. Like Robertson, Pilgrim is a Cincinnati native.
"I didn't get a chance to play with him in high school, but I played with him when he would come out with his brother in the summer to play pickup with us," Robertson said. "He was very confident and aggressive. He tries to do everything as hard as he can and play the best he can every play.
"He was never afraid. At times he wouldn't take some shots, but he got out of that. He wasn't big and strong when I first knew him. Then he got taller and stronger to make him the player he is."
Robertson, who has a team-high 67 assists, knew Pilgrim was at Hampton for two years and would occasionally check the Internet to see how he was playing.
"I didn't know he was transferring to Kentucky until I saw it on TV. It was a shock to me," Robertson said.
The Auburn senior guard can understand why Kentucky players have talked about how well Pilgrim has fit in already and how he has pushed Patterson and Perry Stevenson in practice.
"He is a humble guy who is fun to be around. At times, he can get a few jokes and laughs in. That's how he is," Robertson said. "He should fit well there. He picked the school and they are liking him. I would think he would be a great fit with those guys."
While Pilgrim says he was a fan of UK's Ron Mercer when he was growing up in Cincinnati, Robertson never leaned toward the Cats.
"Growing up in Cincinnati, you tended to like Cincinnati because of (coach) Bob Huggins and all the great players he had," Barber said. "I knew Kentucky had some good players and I watched them when I could, but I watched the Bearcats. Cincinnati was my team."