Local Basketball Standout Returns to Play in Mackey Against the Boilers

Jonah Lucas was a neighborhood standout throughout his time at Harrison High School and took that onerous work to Marquette as a most popular stroll on underneath second 12 months head coach Shaka Smart. Jonah will return to West Lafayette Tuesday night time to face the Boilermakers in this season’s Gavitt Games matchup. Hammer and Rails linked with Lucas heading into the matchup to meet up with one in all the greatest native gamers to come out of Tippecanoe County in the previous couple of years.

Hammer and Rails: You had an excellent profession at Harrison High School, what led you to select Marquette?

Lucas: Marquette grew to become a reasonably clear and fast alternative after speaking with the coaches actually. Some of the foundations for the program are Relationships, Growth, and Victory, and talking with the coaches, it grew to become clear that these weren’t simply phrases used to sound good. As a most popular walk-on it’s a completely different degree of “recruitment” however they actually appeared in me and thought I might present a wide range of issues primarily based on my experiences, household, and the place I come from.

Hammer and Rails: Were you a fan of Purdue rising up right here in West Lafayette?

Lucas: Honestly, I by no means had any issues with Purdue, however I usually selected the path of rooting towards Purdue to annoy my associates. My household has a fantastic relationship with the Painter’s and I’ve at all times loved watching them play, in addition to folks I do know and meet that work carefully inside the program. So, I’d say I used to be a secret fan of Purdue.

Hammer and Rails: Your dad was a participant in school. What has it been like having him in your nook?

Lucas: As nicely as being my coach in highschool, I believe we acquired rather a lot nearer regardless of being farther away. He has actually reached out rather a lot to examine in and ask how I’m in addition to how the workforce is doing and it means rather a lot to have that sort of assist from house for as onerous as it’s. He has not solely given me on-court recommendation, but additionally stresses the significance of my grades and the way I deal with myself as a person. I’m extraordinarily lucky to have that in my life, and he has positively made my transition simpler.

Hammer and Rails: What will it’s like for you to play inside Mackey Arena as a university basketball participant?

Lucas: It has been one thing that I’ve been actually enthusiastic about, contemplating how well-known and nationally acknowledged onerous it’s to win at Mackey is for opposing groups. Growing up, I’ve been to quite a few video games and have seen many nice gamers come by Purdue and the followers have been at all times purchased in and high-energy as soon as the lights turned off for participant introductions. I’m so excited to expertise it as an opposing participant, and to go to battle in that hostile surroundings.

Hammer and Rails: What has been your position to date on the workforce?

Lucas: I’ve a reasonably distinctive position as a walk-on to replicate loads of what opposing groups might do, and to date I’ve beloved each second of it. Occasionally I’ll discover myself in apply when somebody goes down with an harm or doing one thing disciplinary, however the guys have actually embraced me and helped me navigate the pace, new terminology, and different issues like that. I really feel proper at house with each man and know that I can lean on them when instances get powerful.

Hammer and Rails: Marquette is a reasonably younger workforce this season. How huge is your freshman class?

Lucas: Our freshman class consists of 1 redshirt freshman (Keeyan Itejere), 3 true freshmen (Ben Gold, Chase Ross, Sean Jones), 2 stroll ons ​​(Me and Caleb Kozinski) and 1 grad switch (Zach Wrightsil). We are a good sized class however general a reasonably younger workforce. Oso, Tyler, and O-Max have actually led the method in management, however loads of our sophomores have began to converse up which has actually taken us a good distance from the place we began. Our youth might seem to be a drawback from an outsider perspective, however I actually imagine that they’re as succesful, if no more succesful, than anybody else in the nation.

Hammer and Rails: Purdue followers are aware of Coach Shaka Smart from his time at Texas and VCU. What has it been like being a participant underneath his management?

Lucas: Shaka has been superior. He loves work and being in the gymnasium on a regular basis and his constructive vitality radiates all through the guys on the workforce. He has a ton of helpful expertise and has created a program this 12 months with whole buy-in from coaches and gamers alike. He’s intense, fiery, enthusiastic, and cares a lot about every particular person man on our workforce that it is simpler to overlook about what we could also be coping with bodily, emotionally, and many others. and simply play all out.

Hammer and Rails: Will you may have some family and friends coming to the recreation?

Lucas: I anticipate quantity of associates at Purdue to come, and my household is unquestionably all attempting to make it in any respect prices. They are excited for my little “homecoming” and shortly grew to become Marquette followers by listening to all the tales I’ve been ready to present from the summer time and preseason, so I’m excited for them to see us in our first huge check with Purdue.

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