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Jai Lucas turns down Duke to stick with Kentucky

Jai Lucas is tabbed as one a “rising star” in the coaching world.

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Jai Lucas UK Athletics

Mike Krzyzewski's successor, Jon Scheyer, has already signed the No. 1 recruiting class for 2022, and just recently attempted to pull away one of Kentucky’s assistant coaches, Jai Lucas.

In an effort to fill a hole left by the loss of Nolan Smith to Louisville, The Athletic’s Brendan Marks, reports that Scheyer and the Duke Blue Devils reached out and offered Lucas a position on the staff. However, Marks has reported that Lucas has turned down the offer and will stay on staff at Kentucky.

This is good news for the Kentucky program as they will retain Lucas, who has been heralded as a “rising star” in the coaching world.

Lucas, an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Kentucky Wildcats, joined the staff in 2020. Since his arrival, Lucas has led the charge for many top recruits and signed four five-star recruits: Damion Collins (2021), TyTy Washington (2021), Shaedon Sharpe (reclassified 2021), and Cason Wallace (2022).

For the class of 2023, in-state legacy recruit, Reed Sheppard, is Kentucky’s lone commit. However, Lucas is looking to add to that, having been at several Grassroots AAU tournaments.

On the Duke side of things, this shows Scheyer is willing to do something unprecedented at Duke, hire outside “The Brotherhood”, unlike Coach K did. After over four decades under Coach K, I would presume that the Duke program will undergo some changes under Scheyer's direction.

Whatever the case may be, it’s good to see Kentucky won this battle with the Blue Devils.