Kentucky has added former recruit Jai Lucas to the basketball staff as a special assistant to the head coach and recruiting coordinator. This moves comes as Indiana assistant Bruiser Flint was added to the staff after associate head coach Kenny Payne left to join the New York Knicks as an assistant.
Lucas expressed his excitement to join the staff in a press release sent out by UK:
“My family and I are excited about coming to the University of Kentucky and joining the Big Blue Nation,” he said. “The opportunity to work under a Hall of Fame head coach and three former head coaches, along with a good friend in Joel Justus was hard to turn down. When you think of college basketball you think of Kentucky and its tradition, the fan base and championships. I am thankful for the opportunity to finally be a part of the University of Kentucky basketball family. Let’s go get number nine.”
UK Head Coach John Calipari did not mince words when talking about the potential of his team this coming season:
“With the staff we have assembled and the people who are a part of our program, I’m really excited to get started with this group,” he said. “I like my team.”
Lucas was recruited by Kentucky back in 2007 as a McDonald’s All-American before choosing to go to Florida. He played for the Gators for one season before transferring to Texas and finishing out his career as a member of the Longhorns. Not long after his playing days were over, he served as an assistant at Texas starting in 2013, where he helped recruit notable names such as Mo Bamba and Greg Brown III. In fact, Lucas is known for having a specialty in recruiting, an area the Cats have seen a dip in the last few years.