LSU basketball sophomore guard Jalyn Patterson enjoyed a stellar high school career at Montverde Academy in Florida before he became a consistent part of the LSU men’s basketball team’s rotation.
Patterson played alongside current LSU teammate Ben Simmons and 2015 NBA first round draft pick, D’Angelo Russell in high school, where the trio won back-to-back High School National Tournament Championship in 2013 and 2014.
Since then, Patterson has adapted progressively to the college game and is regarded by Tiger fans as a three-point specialist able to score in flurries.
DIG Magazine caught up with Patterson to discuss his high school days, his development as a player at LSU and more in this edition of Talkin’ Tigers.
DIG: Do you feel more comfortable on the court as a sophomore now that you have a season of experience playing on this level?
Jalyn Patterson: Yeah. I think my freshman year was a little bit of an adjustment for me. I’m still making some adjustments, but that year did me good. I’m a little more aggressive on defense, and I just try to go out there and do whatever I can to help my team.
DIG: You guys are 13-3 in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center this year. How much has the team noticed and appreciated LSU’s student section this season during home games?
JP: We notice them bigtime. The fans have really been coming out this year, so that’s good. When we see them out there supporting us, and we have a good crowd behind us, we love to put on a show for them.
DIG: What is your favorite chant that you’ve heard from the student section?
JP: When the other team misses a free throw and they’re all like, ‘you let the whole team down!’ That’s one that I noticed and thought was funny.
DIG: How did being on such a top tier high school team prepare you to play college basketball?
JP: It helps me out because I kind of got used to the wining lifestyle. We would win a lot, and playing with a lot of talent around me prepared me to play on this level. We had like eight or nine D-1 guys on the team at one point. You get used to playing with other players who can do the same things as you, if not do them better.
DIG: Do you still talk to D’Angelo Russell now that he’s a rookie in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers?
JP: I talked to him, but it was early in the [NBA] season. We talked less once we both got our stuff going, but he seems like he’s doing good fitting into the NBA lifestyle. He’s still a friend, but he’s a rookie so he’s been dealing with a lot.
DIG: Do you have a favorite NBA team?
JP: No, I don’t. I don’t have a favorite team, but I still watch. I like a lot of NBA players. Every team has a player that I like to watch. I’ll watch anything with KD (Kevin Durant), Kyrie (Irving), LeBron (James) or Russell Westbrook.
DIG: Has anyone on the team been a mentor to you during your time at LSU?
JP: Pretty much everybody, especially my first year. When Jarell [Martin] and [Jordan] Mickey were here, they really let me know what everything would be like. Tim Quarterman too. During my freshman year, those guys really helped me, and I’m better this year because of it.
DIG: You guys have three games left this season, all against Southeastern Conference opponents. Where do you think you are as a team going into the home stretch of the season?
JP: I feel like we’re beginning to click, but we still have to come out and play. We just have to stay together as a team and take it one game at a time. If we do that, I think we’ll still get to where we want to be.