Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

An ode to Verne Lundquist’s calls and everything college basketball

Jai Lucas Leaving Florida

Posted by Zach on November 5, 2008

In a bit of a stunning decision, sophomore guard Jai Lucas will transfer from the University of Florida. The 5’10 playmaker chose Florida in a heated recruiting battle with Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and may look to one of those schools to conclude his college career.

Lucas, the son of former NBA player John Lucas, informed Billy Donovan of the decision Wednesday. If he transfers to another Division I school, he’d have to sit out next season. Lucas resides from Bellaire, Texas. If he wants to return closer to home, get Rick Barnes, Mark Turgeon and Pat Knight on the phone. He’s going to be a big-time coup for some program in the future.

Lucas may have felt his minutes were at risk with the commitment of top-10 recruit Kenny Boynton for next season. The Gators would prefer Lucas slide over to point guard full-time, but Boynton and the emergence of Erving Walker, who impressed in the Florida scrimmage, was deemed a threat. Lucas finished at 8.5 PPG in 36 games (he started all) last season, leading the Gators in three-point shooting accuracy.

“He didn’t get rattled by opposing arenas,” Donovan said. “When you lose a player like that who’s got that level of experience, it always hurts because you look at a guy like Erving (Walker) in the backcourt, he’s got none. We’ve got to try to figure out some things. We’ve got to get Erving ready.”

“Any time a player leaves your program you always get a little disappointed, but at the same time there was a point where Jai wasn’t totally happy,” Donovan said. “He wanted to try to make it work…I hate to see him go, but my biggest focus for him is I want to see him be happy wherever he can go. We haven’t even talked about schools.”

(Quotes courtesy Orlando Sentinel)

UPDATE: Unrelated to the Lucas story, but ESPN Full Court’s schedule is officially out. This is a national holiday for me. Patrick ordered the package at his crib this year, and needless to say I expect to spend an inordinate amount of time there this winter. Here’s the schedule. First ESPNU game next Monday and first Full Court slate of games next Friday!

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4 Responses to “Jai Lucas Leaving Florida”

  1. Tommy said

    It would be nice if Jai followed in his father’s footsteps and became a Terp but somehow I don’t see that happening.
    Just saw on the ESPN bottomline that Zona declined Jeff Withey’s request to transfer. There’s a mess down in Tucson, especially for next season if both Budinger and Hill leave.

  2. Tommy said

    PS. I may have just creamed my pants after reading that Full Court sched…

  3. Patrick said

    I expect Hill and Budinger to leave too, but you know a program like Arizona can clean that mess up in a couple of seasons because they have the ability to get such a stellar recruiting class year after year.

  4. Zach said

    Until they all go to Italy.

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