Want more proof that everyone loves and believes in Jai Lucas? Say no more!
Over at 247 Sports, three different national recruiting analysts sang some high praise for the newest addition to the Kentucky Men’s Basketball staff, with one going so far as to say that Lucas will “out work his role” as the special assistant to head coach John Calipari.
The hiring of Lucas was officially announced by UK earlier this week, but has been considered a Wildcat since late August. His official titles will be “special assistant to the head coach and recruiting coordinator”.
Here’s what recruiting experts Brandon Jenkins, Travis Branham, and Brian Snow had to say about the rising 31-year-old.
“Jai Lucas is one of the premiere up and coming coaches in the sport. He is one who will out work his role in Lexington and will be loved because of the genuine relationships he builds with his players and recruits. Expect for the players on Kentucky’s roster to be drawn to Coach Lucas from day one because of his background, knowledge, and most importantly his personality.” – Brandon Jenkins
“Great addition to the Kentucky staff that will really compliment John Calipari and the rest of the staff in Tony Barbee, Bruiser Flint and Joel Justus. He’s a very well respected and well connected coach across the industry that has had success on the recruiting trail and has a very bright future ahead.” – Travis Branham
“He’s been one of the best recruiters in the country. He closed on Greg Brown, he closed on Jarrett Allen. As much as people want to make that look easy because they’re from Texas, it’s not. He beat UCLA for Will Baker. He’s well-liked, well-connected and obviously he has a history of getting guys.” – Brian Snow [via 247 Sports]
Not only is Lucas credited with the signings of elite Texas big men like Brown and Allen, but he also played a pivotal role in bringing Mo Bamba and Jaxson Hayes (both current NBA players) to the Longhorns. He helped lead Texas’ recruiting classes to three consecutive years of finishing in the top-20, highlighted by a No. 6 finish in 2017. The Longhorns came in ranked No. 8 in 2018 and 17th in 2019, according to 247 Sports.
Recently, Kentucky extended an offer to 2021 five-star power forward Daimion Collins, who was being primarily recruited by Lucas when he was still working at Texas. Collins is a native of the state of Texas, but Lucas’ move to Lexington has reportedly delayed Collins’ recruiting process. He’s wasted no time making his impact as a recruiter felt.
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t believe in Lucas’ potential as a coach? If so, I don’t want anything to do with them.