Chasity Patterson named to the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year watch list

Kentucky Wildcats guard Chasity Patterson (15) brings the ball up court during the first half...
Kentucky Wildcats guard Chasity Patterson (15) brings the ball up court during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against the DePaul Blue Demons on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)(Kamil Krzaczynski | AP)
Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 4:23 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball senior guard Chasity Patterson has been selected to the 2021 Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Watch List, it was announced on Tuesday morning.

Patterson has had an impressive start to the season, leading the nation by forcing 60 steals through just 15 games. The Houston native has started all 15 contests, averaging 12.2 points per game on 46% shooting from the field. She is a 30.6% 3-point shooter and has collected 2.4 rebounds per game. She’s also dished out 51 assists on the year.

One of her best games of the season came on Dec. 19 against Wofford inside Memorial Coliseum, when she recorded the first double-double in her career with 17 points and 10 steals. Patterson is the second player in program history to record 10 or more steals in a game. Leslie Nichols holds the program record with 11 swipes vs. Louisville on Feb. 14, 1986. Patterson and Nichols are also the only players in school history to record eight or more steals in three or more games in a season. Nichols accomplished the feat during the 1985-86 season.

The 10 steals remain Patterson’s career high, but the senior has had several big games including turnovers, recording eight steals against Murray State and No. 14 DePaul. She had seven against Samford, four apiece against No. 8 Texas A&M and Auburn, and five against No. 25 Tennessee.

So far this season, Patterson has led Kentucky in steals 11 times, in assists seven times and in scoring four times.

Last season, Patterson was named the 2019-20 Southeastern Conference Sixth Woman of the Year, despite playing just 19 games. She made her Kentucky debut at California on Dec. 21, 2019, after sitting out for one year because of the NCAA transfer rule. She impressed the coaching staff in her opening game, recording nine points, four steals and four rebounds in just 24 minutes. Patterson came off the bench in all 19 contests last season, playing 19.3 minutes per game. Patterson ended an unfinished season averaging 11.5 points per game and 2.2 rebounds per game, while dishing out 29 assists and forcing 25 steals.