Ranked as a Top-5 prospect in the 2022 North Carolina class, Patrick Wessler is going to be a name that will be known around the country very soon, if not already. The 7-footer has improved tremendously in his game and became a huge focal point on both ends at Butler high school this year.
It is also why he has secured two early offers but several other programs are already expressing interest as well. He discusses it all with us in our latest Phenom Hoops Blog. Check it out!
Discuss a little bit about how your season went at Butler this season? What kind of mindset did you come in this season, especially being one of the key players for your program?
Wessler: We went 12-14 overall but every single game was close. My mindset this year was to put the ball in the basket when my team needed it.
Only a sophomore but looking like one of the go-to players for Butler, what was that like being depended on and stepping up your game this season?
Wessler: It was definitely much different from coming off the bench last year. It took us all a few games to adjust and began to gel in our new roles.
What did the coaches put on your shoulders this year? What were some of their expectations?
Wessler: The expectation was for myself and the other captain Moses Payne to lead on and off the court.
How do you think you improved from the start of the season to where you are now?
Wessler: With the help of my teammates I raised my scoring from 15 to 20 a game over the last 11 games, as well as increasing my rebounds per game by 2. I wasn’t satisfied with how I was shooting free throws to start the year but I went 81% from the line for the second half of the year.
As a true big man, where are you striving to improve in developing your game? In what areas would you like to develop your game more?
Wessler: Currently I am focusing on improving the non-basketball aspects of my game, primarily speed, strength, and agility. I would like to develop those areas more as well as ball handling and becoming a true stretch 4.
How would you best describe your game on the court for people that haven’t seen you play?
Wessler: I would say I am primarily a post and mid-range scorer, but I can step out and knock down threes. When in the post, I am always on the lookout for an open teammate, as I tend to be a magnet for double teams. On the other side of the ball, I’m definitely a rim protector and lane defender.
You have shown that you can step out and knock down perimeter shots. How important is that to you in your game?
Wessler: It is important to be able to hit perimeter shots because of the way the game is developing today. To me, perimeter scoring is a good add-on but it isn’t the focus of my game.
You are currently ranked in the Top 5 by Phenom Hoops in the 2022 class, a class that is loaded. What is it like to be recognized up there with some of the best around the state early on?
Wessler: It’s an honor to be recognized by Phenom, and I take it as a challenge and a personal goal to climb higher.
What drives you, either on and off the court, to get better and put in the work every day?
Wessler: What drives me is my competitive nature. I’ve always despised losing so I work as hard as I can to get better. A good example was during my 9th-grade year when we were on a last-second full-court play and needed a good inbounder. That Saturday, I went to the gym early to work on throwing late-game full-court passes. I probably threw 25 that day. Sure enough, the next week we were in that situation and Coach Lowery trusted me to make that pass. We executed the play and won on a last-second shot. This is something I wasn’t good at, so I worked to get better because I don’t want to let my teammates down.
Not only a tremendous player but also a tremendous student, sporting a tremendous GPA. What does it mean to you to be your best in both the classroom and on the court?
Wessler: For me, there is a family expectation of academic excellence and I do my best to live up that standard. To me, being the best in both broadens my horizons and gives me more options for the future.
Let’s talk about your recruitment now. How has it been going on right now for you and how are you taking it so far?
Wessler: My coach has gotten calls from every level of Division I basketball, from the Southland Conference to the Big 10 and the ACC.
You hold an offer or two already. What offers do you hold and what are your thoughts on the programs? What kind of relationship have you built with them?
Wessler: I’ve been offered by Elon University and the University of New Orleans. I’ve built a really good relationship with Elon right now; they have an incredible staff and they have done a really good job with my recruitment.
Have you been able to look into any of those programs? If so, find anything that you may like early on?
Wessler: New Orleans is interesting because they have had 2 former Butler players. With Elon, I am impressed with the character of the coaches and the culture of the program.
What about schools that have been showing interest that have yet to offer? What schools are showing interest your way?
Wessler: Cincinnati, Purdue, Liberty, Charlotte, Davidson, Clemson, and Ole Miss
What have they been saying to you in their talks and has anything stood out to you?
Wessler: Each staff and school is unique and I have enjoyed all of the conversations.
Have you been able to make any visits to schools? If so, where?
Wessler: I have visited Cincinnati, Elon, and Charlotte. I had planned visits to Liberty and Purdue but due to the current situation, we are unable to make it at this time.
This summer, what are you looking to focus on with your game and hoping to show, if there is summer basketball?
Wessler: Honestly, I really just want to get back to team basketball in general. When we get to play, I want to show my improved athleticism and face-up game.
Getting to Know Wessler:
– Favorite Basketball Player: Nikola Jokić
– Favorite Food: Steak
– Favorite Subject: History
– Favorite Thing to do outside of Basketball: Hanging out with friends
– Who do you model your game after? Jokić and Porzingis
– If you could play another sport, what would it be? Baseball
– Biggest role model in your life? My dad (Sorry mom, love you too)