The buzz in the recruiting circles has been all over the place in recent weeks about Jai Lucas and what he will do as he waits for the Spring recruiting period. There have been rumors that a number of schools are getting involved, ranging from NC State to Indiana to Florida. Every school involved in his final 4 has had someone “guarantee” his arrival on their team and some have even claimed that Lucas could end up with a team not on that list. Thus Kentucky Sports Radio caught up with Lucas to see how his early season has gone and which, of the many, rumors are true:
(Q): How has your early season gone so far?
(A): Well it has been a tough start for us. We lost some games early on, but the team is starting to settle down and I am trying to be the leader and help them get where we need to be. We are going to be fine before it is all said and done.
(Q): In terms of recruiting and picking your college, what has been going on?
(A): I havent really been thinking about it too much. You know it is such a big decision that you cant help but consider it sometimes, but by waiting, I have been able to focus on other things, which is good.
(Q): There have been rumors about other teams getting involved in your recruitment. Is that happening, and are you listening?
(A): Yeah I have heard from a couple of schools. NC State and Indiana have talked to me some, but right now I am just listening. I mean I am not making a decision any time soon so its ok to listen to what people have to say. But the four schools that have been with me the longest are still my focus. I will listen to anybody that talks to me but it would take an absolutely perfect situation for me to go off that list.
(Q): Are you watching the teams you have been looking at and what they are doing this season?
(A): Yeah you know I watch some games. I have been busy, but I have tried to watch all of the teams at least once. I have realized what I thought all along…..there is something for me at every school. Each of them have a way for me to fit into what they are trying to do.
(Q): What have you seen from your watching of Kentucky?
(A): Yeah I have enjoyed watching them. You know I have seen exactly where I would fit in there. They have a lot of good guards, but once they get in the halfcourt, it doesnt look like they have anybody who can get everybody on the same page, run the play and get the offense started. That is where I think I would fit in and be a floor leader. So watching them has made me realize that I can really go there and contribute. You know, they are going to be good and Coach Smith is building for the future and that has been real good to see.
(Q): What is your time frame for making a decision?
(A): I will probably wait until March or April when my season is over and I know everybody’s situation better. There is no real hurry for me and you can figure out where each team will be next year a lot better then. But for now, I will just focus on our team this year and keep track of how things go for the next few months.
So there it is, an interesting take from Jai. I found his comments about what he sees his potential role being on next year’s team very interesting, and true. Jai is a floor leader and there is the potential for him to find a spot in that role. I also after speaking with him, realized that Dave Telep of Scout.com was dead on with me this weekend. For Lucas, the decision to wait is one that makes complete sense. Signing an LOI does nothing but lock him in and considering the state of the four programs he is looking at (two new coaches, and two coaches under scrutiny or going through change), he will know a lot more in April.