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Duke Reportedly Hiring Top Kentucky Assistant Coach

Duke t-shirts sit on chairs before game.

INDIANAPOLIS - APRIL 03: Final four t-shirts with the logo of the Duke Blue Devils are seen on the backs of chairs against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the National Semifinal game of the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship on April 3, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Duke head coach Jon Scheyer is still assembling his staff ahead of his first season at the helm. He apparently made a call to Lexington to help fill up the ranks.

According to Travis Branham of 247Sports, Scheyer is hiring Kentucky staffer Jai Lucas as an assistant coach. Lucas is coming off his second year working under John Calipari after working at Texas from 2016 to 2020.

Hiring the 33-year-old Wildcats assistant marks a pretty notable departure from the norms at Duke. Lucas is the first assistant that the Blue Devils have hired in decades with no ties to Coach K or any of his disciples.

That isn't to say that Lucas isn't extremely qualified for the job. He has a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the country. In just two seasons at Kentucky, Lucas helped them recruit four five-star prospects.

Lucas isn't without his North Carolina connections either. His father, Houston Rockets assistant John Lucas II, was born in Durham. He reportedly still has family in the area.

With Jai Lucas brought into the fold, Jon Scheyer's essential staff for the 2022-23 Duke season is set. Scheyer now has Lucas, associate head coach Chris Carrawell, assistant coach Amile Jefferson and special assistant Mike Schrage.

The training wheels are about to come off for Scheyer though. Good thing he's assembled an all-star staff.

If Duke and Kentucky square off next season, there will be an extra level of intrigue.