Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Cu Coach Wrestles with Winless Buffaloes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Cu Coach Wrestles with Winless Buffaloes

Article excerpt

The name is Patton. He owns a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo. He trained Rottweilers for amusement.

So with that macho profile, plus five years as a television cameraman on his resume, what's Ricardo Patton do for a living? Well . . . he's the men's basketball coach at the University of Colorado.

"I'm going to be a little leery," said Missouri coach Norm Stewart, whose Tigers (13-6 overall, 3-2 Big Eight Conference) play at Colorado (5-11, 0-5) at 8:30 tonight (St. Louis time). "He's got that, uh, what is that stuff - trykondo? I'm not going down there and abuse him."

Since Patton, 37, took over the program on an interim basis after coach Joe Harrington resigned two weeks ago, his players have learned to take the same precautions.

When Martice Moore showed up, by Moore's reckoning, 28 seconds late for a meeting, he was kept out of the starting lineup against Kansas. When Chauncey Billups and Matt Daniel were nabbed taking video rental coupons off books at a campus bookstore, Patton kept Billups out of the starting lineup and benched Daniel for the first half against Iowa State.

Patton had his team sleep on cots on the floor of the CU Events Center before the Kansas game, to foster a sense of protecting the home. He also has been fiendish about . . . players lacing their shoes, wearing socks that show, pulling up their shorts and tucking in their drawstrings.

This self-described stickler apparently offers the touch that's needed for the Buffs, who haven't won a game in January and had drowned out Harrington. The perception became that Harrington ran a lackadaisical ship, and Patton attacked the apathy by the time he had conducted his harsh first practice. The players, 0-2 thus far for Patton, seem to respect him.

"He doesn't tell players what they want to hear," Moore said. …

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