Texas Basketball: Kentucky pursuing assistant coach Jai Lucas

There could be more change on the horizon for the coaching staff of the Texas basketball program in the near future if they lose Jai Lucas.

Entering the 2020-21 season, the Texas basketball program is obviously going to have a lot of question marks stemming from the premature end to the 2019-20 campaign. After a rough end to the 2019-20 regular season, with a double-digit loss at home to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Texas men’s hoops program didn’t get to play in a single game in the Big 12 Tournament.

The season was called to a premature end in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic before Selection Sunday was even able to occur.

However, the could be even more change coming to the Texas hoops program during the 2020 offseason in the near future. According to a report from Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio, Texas assistant coach Jai Lucas is being pursued by head coach John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats for an off-the-court role on his coaching staff.

The money reportedly freed up on the Kentucky coaching staff by assistant Kenny Payne taking the associate head coaching role with the New York Knicks in the NBA could be used to land Lucas, and one other coach. Kentucky is reportedly also trying to keep the former Indiana Pacers assistant Bruiser Flint around with the money they get back from Payne, along with Lucas from the Longhorns staff.

Lucas played most of his college ball with the Texas program. But he transferred to Texas after spending his freshman campaign with former head coach Billy Donovan (now with the Oklahoma City Thunder) and the Florida Gators.

While Lucas isn’t officially out the door yet for the Longhorns, it appears that both Kentucky and Texas are anticipating the move in the near future. Texas is reportedly already looking for a replacement for Lucas.

Lucas is a key cog in running all of the internal basketball operations for the Longhorns. He’s been on staff for Texas since 2013, when former head coach Rick Barnes ran the show on the Forty Acres. But his star was bound to rise in the college hoops coaching ranks soon enough.

Texas finished up the 2019-20 season with a record of 19-12 (9-9 Big 12). Meanwhile, Kentucky finished up the 2019-20 season with a record of 25-6 (15-3 SEC), and won the SEC regular season title.