For Patrick Lucas-Perry, basketball is all about being ready when the opportunity arises.
Despite coming into the season with just four career points, Lucas-Perry has made a big impact for the Quakers this season in a small role. The sophomore guard has played a pivotal part in two of Penn’s three victories, contributing 15 points against UMBC and scoring the final five points against NJIT.
And coming off the bench at Temple, he shot the lights out, hitting four three-pointers on his way to 15 points.
“He makes plays, makes things happen,” junior captain Dau Jok said. “If he’s open, obviously he’s going to knock it down. He’s shooting a tremendous percentage right now.”
In fact, Lucas-Perry leads the Ivy League in three-point percentage, shooting 55.6 percent from beyond the arc. His shooting ability has allowed his teammates to trust him with the ball in his hands.
Despite his shooting ability, Lucas-Perry doesn’t see himself as just a gunner.
“I think my role is to come in and do what is necessary,” Lucas-Perry said. “I might not be scoring one day, maybe just guarding, getting a steal, rebounding. I feel like I do a lot of intangibles.”
But despite his flashy numbers on the season, the 5-foot-11 guard hasn’t seen action all that often. Lucas-Perry is the only player with floor time for the Red and Blue that hasn’t started a game this season and ranks just 11th on the team in minutes per game.
Part of the reason might be his inconsistency. While Lucas-Perry has had breakout games against UMBC and Temple, those are his only two double digit outbursts this year, as he has been held scoreless four times on the season.
Yet his performance at Temple may give Lucas-Perry a chance at a bigger offensive role going forward.
“I look at it game by game, but I would say [the Temple game] gave me more confidence,” Lucas-Perry said. “They are a good team, a Big 5 conference team.”
While coach Jerome Allen remained tight-lipped on any official changes to Lucas-Perry’s playing time, Allen remains willing to give him the chance to prove himself.
“He has taken advantage of every opportunity he’s gotten,” Allen said. “One thing I can say is he will be given the opportunity to play and contribute and we’ll see where it goes.”
The question now becomes whether he’ll play consistently like he did at Temple. Allen is hopeful that the Temple performance can become the norm for Lucas-Perry.
“He gives us a dynamic that we struggle with at times, so hopefully he’ll continue to progress,” Allen said. “Hopefully, he has assumed his role and will make us better.”
Even though his roles have lacked consistency, Lucas-Perry’s teammates still recognize the progress he has made this year. Jok thinks Lucas-Perry’s recent games have been emblematic of Allen’s teachings this season.
“Coach [Allen] always preaches [to] be ready when your number is called,” Jok said. “I thought Patrick did a great job coming and hitting almost every shot he took.”
No matter what role Lucas-Perry plays the rest of the year, he is looking to seize each opportunity he is given.
“What happened in the past happened. I can’t control it,” he said. “I just do the things that got me to where I am right now and try to continue on doing those things.”