A Tubby Smith-led Kentucky program was believed to be in the lead to land coveted four-star senior point guard Jai Lucas. Now that Smith is headed to Minnesota, Lucas admits that it hurts Kentucky's chances. However, the Wildcats are still in the picture.
"This definitely has an affect," said the 5-foot-10, 160-pound Lucas - who plays for Bellaire High School in Houston. "This is one of the reasons I waited. You never know what is going to happen in college basketball.
"I'll just wait to see who Kentucky hires because Kentucky basketball is still Kentucky basketball. But it does hurt. I love Tubby Smith."
Lucas, who will participate in next week's McDonald's All American Game, ruled out Minnesota as a potential college destination. Lucas said he hasn't given any thought yet to whom Kentucky might hire.
Lucas, the No. 6 ranked point guard and the No. 42 ranked prospect in the Rivals150, is also considering Maryland, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Jai Lucas scouting report:
The son of former NBA player and coach John Lucas, Jai Lucas brings to the court a feel for the game well beyond his years. A good shooter from 3-point range, Lucas specializes in scoring with floaters and runners in the mid-range and setting up teammates with his penetration. Adept at pushing the tempo and playing fast with the ball, Lucas does need to continue getting stronger and to continue improving his left hand.