For Jai Lucas, it was an opportunity to impress a coach of one of the three schools that he says is currently recruiting him the hardest, "Kentucky, LSU and Oklahoma State are the three schools that have been in contact most, and are recruiting me the hardest," Lucas said. "I really don't have a leader and I am certainly not limited to just those three schools, but all three would be a good choice for me."
On Friday night, Lucas had scored 16 points to go along with a couple of handfuls of assists and steals, playing extremely well. So, how did he do with coaches Reggie Hanson and Tubby Smith watching? Lucas scored one point on a single free throw. "Those things happen," Lucas said, "our team won the game. I did a lot of little things. I made sure that the ball got to the right people. Gary (Johnson) and Mike (Singletary) were open and hot and I made sure I got them the ball."
So did he worry about scoring so little with the Kentucky coaches watching?
"Not at all," Lucas said, "they are fully aware of what I am capable of doing. I can't change the way I play just because there is a coach watching. My job is to distribute the ball and do what it takes for my team to win. That's what I did today. Sometimes I need to score. Sometimes I need to pass. Some days both. Some times people knock me because of my height, but it's usually from people that haven't seen me play."
Jai (pronounced "Jay") is listed at 5-foot-10 but that is probably generous by an inch or so. "A lot of people are worried about my height, but I am not worried. I have played against bigger people my whole life. I know how to handle myself against big guards.
Jai is in no hurry to make a decision and says he is enjoying the process. "I have taken unofficial visits to LSU and Oklahoma State. I enjoyed them but was not ready to make a commitment. I will visit Kentucky sometime before I make a decision."
Jai is doing pretty well academically. He said he is carrying a 3.3 GPA. He also said that the coach will play a large role in his final decision. "I sort of compare the coaches to my dad. I really need to be able to look up to my coach and respect him in the same manner as my dad."
Would Tubby Smith fit that bill?
"Oh, most definitely," said Lucas.