Whitesburg KY

Recruits nix UK

The Associated Press


Jai Lucas picked Florida over Kentucky, just like his future college coach.

The McDonald’s All-American and son of former NBA player and coach John Lucas said this week he will sign a letter of intent to play Florida and coach Billy Donovan.

Kentucky also learned Monday that recruits Michael Sanchez and Beas Hamgas will sign with Arkansas and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, respectively.

Lucas averaged 25 points and six assists as a senior. The 5-foot- 10 guard also shot 51 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the free-throw line.

He is one of the last highly touted prospects to sign during the monthlong signing period. Patrick Patterson, a 6-foot-8 power forward and McDonald’s All-American from Huntington, W.Va., was expected to announce his decision Wednesday (today) at 3:30 p.m. He has narrowed his choices to Duke, Florida and Kentucky.

Donovan, who passed on a chance to replace Tubby Smith at Kentucky after winning a second consecutive national championship in April, could use both players.

The Gators lost their top seven scorers from last season’s title team, the first since Duke in 1992 to repeat as champs. Green, Corey Brewer, Al Horford and Joakim Noah turned pro after their junior seasons, and each of them has signed with an agent, meaning they can’t return to school.

That may have made Lucas’ decision easier.

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