Jai Lucas, key assistant to John Calipari, reportedly leaves for ACC program
Jai Lucas, a key assistant at Kentucky, is leaving the Wildcats for an ACC program.
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Multiple reports on Friday noted that Lucas is leaving UK for Duke, as Jon Scheyer landed one of the top recruiters in the business — and strikes a blow to a chief competitor, Travis Branham of 247Sports reported. Lucas also represents the first assistant coach the Blue Devils have hired outside the “Duke family” since the 1990s.
Lucas joins associate head coach Chris Carrawell and newly-minted assistant coach Amile Jefferson to make up Duke’s 3 assistants. Scheyer also recently added former Elon head coach Mike Schrage as the Special Assistant to the Head Coach. Former Duke assistant Nolan Smith left earlier this month to join Kenny Payne’s staff at Louisville.
The Durham (N.C.) Herald-Sun has confirmed that Jai Lucas is leaving the Kentucky staff and joining the Duke staff. He was assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for UK.
— Jerry Tipton (@JerryTipton) April 29, 2022
Before Kentucky, Lucas spent 7 seasons at Texas, where he played his final 2 seasons of college basketball.
Lucas joined the Kentucky men’s basketball staff as a recruiting coordinator in August of 2020 and was quickly transitioned into a full-time assistant coaching role for the 2020-21 season.
As an assistant, Lucas led Kentucky’s recruiting efforts and filled the traditional on-court roles of an assistant, including helping with game and practice preparation and played a key role in player development through practice and individual workouts. Additionally, as recruiting coordinator, he managed official and unofficial visits and was responsible for the recruiting strategy for the program.