The offseason is proving that being an assistant basketball coach at Texas is a pretty solid career move.
While men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart works to fill a spot on his coaching staff after Mike Morrell was hired as head coach of UNC Asheville, another Texas assistant is receiving rave reviews.
Jai Lucas, a former Longhorn player who was hired as an assistant coach two years ago by Smart, was named to the NABC 2017-18 Under Armour 30-under-30, a list of the best young coaches in college basketball.
At just 29, Lucas, son of former Houston Rockets star John Lucas, has five years of coaching experience already and has been a valuable asset in in-state recruiting to the Longhorns. Lucas was the director of basketball operations in Smart’s first season and was promoted to assistant in June of 2016. At the time, the move was surprising as Morrell was moved to an off-court position — he was promoted back to a full assistant a year later– but it was likely made to keep Lucas on staff. According to reports, he was being offered a job to join then new TCU coach Jamie Dixon’s staff.
Since Texas brought Lucas on staff, Smart and the Longhorns have landed back-to-back top 10 recruiting classes.
Joining Lucas on the list are coaches from St, John’s, TCU, Cincinnati and reigning national champion Villanova.
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