Jai Lucas makes The Athletic's "40 under 40" college hoops list
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Jai Lucas makes The Athletic's "40 under 40" college hoops list

Article written by:Tyler ThompsonTyler Thompson


Photo by Dr. Michael Huang | Kentucky Sports Radio

Jai Lucas is a rising star in college basketball, according to Seth Davis. Kentucky’s assistant coach made Davis’ annual list of the 40 most influential people in the sport under the age of 40. Lucas joined Kentucky’s staff in 2020 as recruiting coordinator and was later elevated to an on-court assistant. Orlando Antigua and Chin Coleman may be known as Kentucky’s top recruiters, but Davis notes that Lucas, age 32, is making a name for himself as well.

John Calipari revamped his coaching staff in the off-season, but he kept Lucas in his role as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Lucas brings an invaluable pedigree to the job, beginning with his status as a former McDonald’s All-American who played point guard at Florida and Texas. Lucas played professionally for two years before returning to his alma mater in 2016 to work for Rick Barnes. After Barnes got fired, Lucas was retained by Shaka Smart, and then left for Kentucky in 2020 to be Calipari’s special assistant and recruiting coordinator. Two months later, Lucas was promoted to his current role. Lucas brings youthful energy to the gym and the recruiting trail, and his value to the program will only increase as he acquires more experience.

Seth Davis, The Athletic

It’s not just coaches on the list. Writers, analysts, administrators, and even bloggers also got shoutouts from Davis (albeit none of our motley crew). If you’ve got a subscription to The Athletic, you can go check it out. Will Wade is on there for cheating and getting away with it.

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