Texas guard Jase Febres is congratulated by assistant coach Jai Lucas after Febres scored 26 points against Iowa State in an NCAA game held on Saturday March 2, 2019, in Austin, Texas. [Rodolfo Gonzalez for American-Statesman]

BEVO BEAT Men's Basketball

Texas assistant Jai Lucas being courted by Kentucky

Posted August 18th, 2020

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Kentucky coach John Calipari has approached Texas assistant Jai Lucas about joining the Wildcats men’s basketball coaching staff, a UT spokesman said.

It’s unclear how far talks have gone or whether Lucas has a job offer, but as of Tuesday afternoon, Lucas was still coaching the Longhorns at Cooley Pavilion.

Lucas, a Texas ex who played for former coach Rick Barnes, spent two seasons as a special assistant working with internal operations. He was named UT’s director of basketball operations under current coach Shaka Smart for the 2015-16 season.

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Lucas’ easy-going ways made him a hit on the recruiting trail. Lucas was promoted to assistant coach in June 2016 and was the lead recruiter for Jarrett Allen, a future first-round draft pick.

Lucas also played pivotal roles in the recruitment of Donovan Williams and incoming freshman Greg Brown III, a five-star athlete many consider to be UT’s next one-and-done phenom.

Smart already has one assistant vacancy on his staff. Luke Yaklich left UT to become the head coach at Illinois-Chicago.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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