Point guard Lucas to announce decision on Monday
Head coaches at Florida, Kentucky and Oklahoma State couldn't take Mother's Day off, not when they had to make their final sales pitch to the top remaining unsigned point guard.
Jai Lucas, the youngest son of former NBA player and coach John Lucas, told ESPN.com Sunday night from his Houston home that he heard from Florida's Billy Donovan, Kentucky's Billy Gillispie and Oklahoma State's Sean Sutton Sunday.
Jai Lucas of Bellaire High near Houston said that he will make an announcement Monday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
"Everybody is getting in their final say before [Monday]," Lucas said.
Lucas said he still didn't know what he was going to do as the three schools wait until the final week of the month-long spring signing period to finish their recruiting classes.
Lucas dragged out his signing to ensure that he had the best possible situation. And in the case of Florida and Kentucky, it was obviously a smart move. Lucas has a shot to get major minutes with the Gators now that junior Taurean Green has signed with an agent and will remain in the draft. That leaves the primary ballhandlers being rising junior Walter Hodge and incoming signee Nick Calathes.
Lucas said he had to dismiss rumors that Donovan was heading to the NBA, talk that the Florida coach reiterated to ESPN.com this weekend wasn't true.
"There is a chance for playing time, for starting over and coming in with a really good class at Florida," Lucas said.
Tubby Smith started recruiting Lucas for Kentucky earlier in the season, but once Smith went to Minnesota, Gillispie jumped on Lucas. The Wildcats are stacked at guard with Ramel Bradley, Joe Crawford, Derrick Jasper and Jodie Meeks next season. One could make the case that the foursome creates the deepest perimeter in the SEC. Adding Lucas would make the Wildcats even deeper and allow Gillispie to gamble even more defensively.
"It's big-time basketball on a big stage and they're starting a new chapter," Lucas said.
Oklahoma State is much more familiar to Lucas since his brother John played in Stillwater for Sean Sutton (who was an assistant to his father Eddie at the time).
"All of the schools have their pluses and that's why I'm going to sleep on it," Lucas said.
Lucas said as soon as he makes his decision he's going to try and lure the top remaining big man -- West Virginia's Patrick Patterson (Huntington High) -- with him. Patterson's top three choices appear to be Kentucky, Florida and Duke. Patterson is set to make his announcement on Wednesday -- the final day of the spring signing period.
"Wherever I decide to go, I'm going after Patrick to have him come with me," Lucas said.
Patterson could be a difference maker at any of the three schools and could affect which team -- Florida or Kentucky -- seriously challenges Tennessee in the SEC East. Getting Patterson would add much-needed power and strength to Duke, too.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.
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