The Texas Longhorns will enter the 2013-14 basketball season with a familiar face -- former guard Jai Lucas, who joined the program as a special assistant on August 5, the school announced Thursday.
Lucas, the son of former NBA star and head coach John Lucas, spent the last several seasons playing basketball in Latvia and in the NBDL after starting one game at Texas and serving as a back-up point guard following his transfer from Florida in the fall of 2008. A former McDonald's and Jordan All-American, Lucas never replicated the same success at Texas that he found in his one season under Billy Donovan as a Gator.
But he does come from a family respected for understanding the game of basketball on a deep level and his issues were more of the physical variety than of the mental. Lucas will handle internal operations for the 'Horns.
Perhaps most importantly, Lucas will also bring a greater Houston presence to the staff. Don't underestimate the importance of that after Houston products Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis both departed the program this spring. With neither one likely to have much good to say about Rick Barnes, the 'Horns should benefit from having another Houston native on staff whose name carries a lot of weight in that town.