Oregon big man excited to join KU family

Three days ago, Landen Lucas didn't know he would be a Kansas Jayhawk by the time the weekend came to a close. But Sunday, just 24 hours after returning from an official visit to the Lawrence, Kan. campus, the Portland (OR) Westview big man was ready to make the call.

The 6-foot-8, 240-pound center from Portland (OR) Westview scheduled a surprise official visit to the Lawrence, Kan. campus last week as his college decision closed in. Originally down to four schools - California, Stanford, Tennessee and Washington - Kansas and Head Coach Bill Self managed to get themselves added to the list.

So Thursday morning, he and his parents packed their bags and set off for Mount Oread.

"I really had no idea in my mind," Lucas said. "I went out there with just eyes open, ears open, just kind of going out there (to see) what they had to offer."

One of the things he most desired out of the visit was the chance to spend some quality time with Self, discussing his potential place in the Kansas program.

As it turns out, he had multiple chances to speak in-depth with the Jayhawks head honcho, all of which left Lucas excited about the opportunity in front of him.

"Whenever he was talking to me, he was talking about the need for an anchor," the big Oregonian explained. "Someone to come in and hold it down on defense, just being the anchor for the team."

Additionally, the visit enabled him to mingle with members of the current team, and he came away impressed with the strong bonds he witnessed between them.

"I got along with all of them really well and they seemed like a real family," Lucas said. "They did everything together. It was all just one group, and it was nice to get to know them all. I felt comfortable with each and every one of them."

Combine those factors with the chance to work under assistant coach Danny Manning - who has quickly earned a reputation as one of the most best big man coaches in the game - and when the family boarded the plane for home Saturday, they had much to discuss.

Ultimately, however, it took just 24 hours to decide where he wanted to be. And with his parents in agreement and comfortable with his choice, he let the world know Sunday via his Twitter account – with a "Rock Chalk Jayhawk" and a shot of him in Kansas attire.

"It's a big relief," Lucas said. "It was definitely hard because of how much I built a relationship with other schools, and how much I liked every other school on my list. But now that it's done, and having that conversation with Coach Self and the whole staff and letting them know I'm going there, it feels great."

Lucas will sign a National Letter of Intent at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, during a ceremony at Westview. He will join signee Perry Ellis and commit Zach Peters - slated to sign with the Jayhawks on Monday afternoon - in the Kansas Class of 2012.


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