The "M-E" In Team
The trademark of Billy Donovan's two-time National Championship team has undeniably been team basketball. That team concept is apparently not quite getting through to everyone these days.
Enter Jai Lucas, starting Gator point guard, and son of former NBA star and coach John Lucas. He is leaving UF after a productive freshman season last year in which he started all 36 games averaging 8.5 points and 2.8 assists a game in a season where not much was expected from the team who started three freshmen, a sophomore, and a junior. He will not play any games this season, and is going to be transferring at the end of this semester. He has not made any decisions about where he is going to play next year, but may be headed somewhere closer to his home near Houston, Texas. There are no personality clashes, nor lack of playing time, and by all accounts, he has enjoyed his time in Gainesville... nobody saw this one coming. He looked like such a nice guy too, like a little kid having fun playing ball.
So what's the deal Jai?
It seems here that Lucas wants to handle the ball. He's not comfortable playing off ball. Whatever. Sounds more like "I want to run the team, I am the NBA star's son, I am supposed to be the man."
But with Nick Calathes getting a lot of time running point while Jai is left shooting spot up three's.
“I just think we were going in different directions.” Lucas said. “I have no regrets about it. The coaching staff, the players, the school, were great. I had a great time while I was here. I just wanted something else.”
So basically, what you're saying is everything was awesome, except I didn't get what I want. I mean, that's fine, its your life, you could've gone anywhere to play. But guess what, you are still an underclassman with three years of eligibility left. You do whats asked of you, play hard and things will work themselves out. If you truly care about the team you would suck it up and share the ball...
Unfortunately, you were concerned with your NBA future more than anything and now you've wasted everyone's time and set the team back a year. With no established pure point guard, the Gators will have to make do this season. While the focus was going to be on developing the young front court, we now have a team with a bunch of SF's, freshmen, and Walter Hodge.
I've never been that upset with players transferring... They usually just want to play because they've been stuck on the bench for a few years, and if they can get floortime somewhere, more power to them. Look at Mohamed Abukar and Ryan Appleby.. the went on to have respectable careers at SDSU and Washington.
But this is different—plain selfishness is the way that I see it.
“He didn’t feel like it was the best fit at that point for him,” Donovan said. “We were using him a little bit off the ball with Nick back there and I don’t think he was mad about that, but I don’t know if (he wanted) to play over there that much. I think on any team there’s a little bit of give and take by everybody."
I didn't see any give on the part of Jai Lucas, and now he's gone... good riddance.
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