Jai Lucas, the Gators’ latest men’s basketball commitment, is the next Taurean Green. I ask you: True, no way or too early to tell?
Lucas signed with Florida on Monday. The similarities between the Houston-area prep star and Florida’s point guard of consecutive national championships are obvious.
-Both players are the sons of NBA fathers. (Lucas’ father, John, coached the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers. While at San Antonio, John Lucas actually coached Sidney Green, father of Taurean Green.)
-Both players can create their own shots. (So says Lucas’ high school coach.)
-Both players can run an offense. (Lucas says one of the main reasons why he chose Florida over Kentucky, Oklahoma State and Duke was because of Donovan’s NBA-style offense.)
I don’t know much about Jai Lucas other than he’s sounds like a nice kid over the phone. I do know a few things about Green, however, and if Lucas' game is anything like Green then the Gators’ offense will be in good hands for the next few years. As good as Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah and Al Horford performed for the Gators, Florida coach Billy Donovan knew that his championship offense started and stopped at the point guard position. There's a reason Green never played defense. Donovan didn't let him. Green's skills as an offensive player were too valuable to sit on the bench because of foul trouble.
Green averaged 37 minutes per game last season or more than any other Gator. He might not translate into the best talent of the bunch in the NBA, but for Donovan’s Gators, Green was the most valuable player. If Lucas is half as good as Green, then Florida should be in good shape.
Lucas has a chance of starting as a freshman, and that would be another similarity between himself and two-ring Green. And if Lucas doesn’t work out, then Nick Calathes (another incoming freshman) could be an option. Of course, you probably don’t gain or lose much when you exchange one frosh for another.