The wait is finally over. Four-star point guard Jai Lucas of Houston (Texas) Bellaire High School has decided where he will play his college basketball.
"I'm going to Florida," Lucas told Rivals.com just prior to his press conference. "It's a great opportunity to play right away with the players they lost. And I like the players that I'm coming in with. There is a lot of talent."
Kentucky, which was in a strong position to land Lucas before Tubby Smith left for Minnesota, was the other finalist with Florida.
"I really liked Tubby and it was a big deal when he left, but I got to know Coach (Billy) Gillispie well and he is a great coach," said Lucas. "Tubby leaving was a big deal, but in a way it wasn't. I just think Florida is a better situation."
Prior to the early signing period, Lucas - a 5-foot-10, 160-pound point guard - was down to Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. He opted to wait until the spring to see what coaching changes would take place and which players would head to the NBA.
When Florida point guard Taurean Green opted for the NBA Draft, the Gators immediately vaulted toward the top of Lucas' list.
Now the recruiting world's attention turns directly to five-star forward Patrick Patterson, who is expected to announce Wednesday between Duke, Kentucky and Florida. There has been much speculation that Patterson and Lucas will play together on the collegiate level.
"I don't know what Patrick is going to do, but I'm going after him," Lucas said.
Lucas, who is the No. 42 prospect in the Rivals150, averaged 26.3 points and 7.5 assists per game during his senior season. He joins a Florida recruiting class which is presently the No. 5 class for 2007 according to Rivals.com.
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. He can also set up teammates with his penetration. Adept at pushing the tempo and playing fast with the ball, Lucas needs to continue getting stronger and needs to improve his left hand.