Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has assigned forward Patrick Patterson to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley. Patterson is expected to join the Vipers on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

“Patrick is making tremendous strides in practice and coach is very comfortable that he could help us win in the NBA right now,” said Morey. “However, our depth at the big spot with Yao Ming, Luis Scola, Brad Miller, Jordan Hill, Chuck Hayes and Jared Jeffries means there is no playing time available. We believe strongly that players improve best by playing in games and the upcoming stretch presented a timely opportunity for Patrick to join Vipers training camp.”

Patterson (6-9, 235, Kentucky), who was selected by the Rockets in the first round (14th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft, has been on the inactive list for Houston’s first six games. He averaged 4.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 15.2 minutes in six games for the Rockets during the preseason. Patterson also averaged 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in five games (four starts) with Houston during the 2010 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

An early entry candidate out of Kentucky, Patterson finished his three-year career with averages of 16.1 points (.585, 617-1054 FG; .329, 24-73 3FG), 8.2 rebounds and 1.57 blocks in 97 career games (97 starts). He was one of five Wildcats picked in the opening round of the 2010 NBA Draft, which was the first time five players from one school were chosen in the first round of the draft. A 2007 McDonald’s All-American as a high school senior, Patterson became the 10th fastest player to reach the 1,000-point club at UK (58 games). He was a two-time All-SEC First-Team pick as a junior and sophomore, as well as a Second-Team selection as a freshman.