As a special assistant to the head coach, Jai Lucas will not be allowed to recruit off-campus when the NCAA lifts restrictions due to the coronavirus.
But that doesn’t mean Kentucky’s new staff member won’t be recruiting in his time in Lexington.
Last week, KSR dove into the official NCAA rulebook and found that while Lucas – an off-court member of the staff – will have a few restrictions, but will still be able to maintain contact, participate in Zoom calls/virtual visits, and help seal the deal with recruits as a special assistant and recruiting coordinator.
In an interview with Kentucky Roll Call this morning, Lucas confirmed that he will still have a significant recruiting role, breaking down the specifics of what he is allowed to do from day one in Lexington.
“Yes. There are a bunch of rules, but there are a bunch of ways to communicate,” Lucas said. “I can text and communicate with recruits, with anybody basically. I can also be on Zoom calls and stuff like that. The biggest thing for me is about staying in communication.”
Though he’ll have to work around some specifics – he cannot call a prospect directly, the recruit has to call him – he still feels he’ll be able to make a significant impact in his new role with the program.
“Most of the kids and most of the families text anyway, so I can text a kid and be like, “Call me.” He can then call me on the phone and that’s how we can communicate,” Lucas said. “I can have them set up a Zoom. The main forms of communication like phone calls have to come through them, but I can text, and that’s a big part of the job right there in itself.”
With Kentucky finishing with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation this past year, Lucas knows he doesn’t have to “reinvent the wheel” in his time at Kentucky. He can, however, add a new, fresh piece to the staff who thrives in developing relationships and consistency.
“You just have to continue to be consistent. I think that’s the biggest thing in recruiting, consistency, especially when you’re recruiting the type of talent that Kentucky is accustomed to getting,” Lucas said. “Those kids and those families, at the end of the day, they think their sons can play anywhere. They’re going to be successful no matter where they go, so you have to kind of give them a little something more to make them want to come to Kentucky.
“A big part of that is the relationship and the trust factor with the staff and the head coach. Most of the time, you have those kids that are going to be a one and done, they’re going to be here for eight months. They’re sending their prized possession with someone they can trust.”
For Lucas’ full interview on Kentucky Roll Call, check out today’s show here.