Oregon State freshman guard Jarod Lucas has made a name for himself already at OSU in one season.
Coming from Hacienda Heights, Calif. where he played basketball under his father, Jeff Lucas, Jarod was a standout student and athlete. He continued that momentum and drive all the way to Corvallis to play for the Beavers under OSU head coach Wayne Tinkle.
Lettering all four years in high school, Lucas climbed the ranking to be the nation’s no. 28 point guard and a four-star recruit by ESPN. Lucas achieved new heights setting 15 school records along with the Southern California CIF record of 3,356 career points. While setting records and continuing to be his team’s MVP, Lucas also was a standout student in the classroom, ranking in the National Honors Society all four years.
“It was a smooth transition [to OSU], I knew Tres early on in the recruitment process when they started recruiting me,” Lucas said. “He’s the one who kinda really treated me like a little brother, he was a senior, I was a freshman, he was the one who really loosened it up for me.”
The freshman found it to be an easy time finding home with the Beavers under Tres Tinkle’s wing. While making his transition, Lucas took summer classes to help manage his academic transition as well.
“Early on, taking two classes really helped me to realize how to balance things,” Lucas said. “I think early on I didn’t realize how much balancing it would take to be a student-athlete, but I definitely think taking summer courses helped me.”
Lucas reflected the start of the season as a transition point on the court. He recalled that in his first few games, there was little to no action for him on the scoreboard during his playing time.
“The lows were probably early on in the season. My first two games, I don't think I scored and after that pretty much turned it around for the UCLA and USC weekend,” Lucas said.
Lucas scored his first points for the Beavers from the free-throw line off a foul in the first half against CSUN. He continued the season, reaching for a high note.
“Definitely the high was the last game of the season against Utah, I had a few other games against Stanford and Arizona that were some highs for me,” Lucas said.
The win against Utah was a big moment for Lucas, hitting a game-winning three-pointer in the last second of the game while also setting a personal best of four three-pointers in a game.
“The last play was made for Ethan, coach put me in the left corner. I had hit three threes before in the last six minutes, so Tres knew that I was hot,” Lucas said. “Tres and I had played before previously against Arizona State, the same thing where I missed it, so this time I had the same opportunity to knock it down.”
Lucas was motivated to get the team win while also giving himself a chance of redemption for a miss he had earlier that season against Arizona State. “The big thing for me was obviously getting the win but also to get that miss that I had against Arizona State off my shoulders. I wasn’t thinking about it but it was in the back of my mind That if I could ever get that out of my head because it hurt me not being able to knock that one down. But I made it on a bigger stage I think.” Lucas said.
The freshman played in all 31 games, hitting career highs of four three-pointers against Utah, tied his career-best of five field goals made and minutes played at Arizona, had a career-high of rebounds against Utah and a career-high of 21 game points against Stanford in January.
Lucas has credited his team for working hard and meshing well together. Being a young team for the Beavers, Lucas looks to a bright future.
“[Having a young team] is always something we can build on this year, getting people back,” Lucas said. “We had a young group of freshmen this year, me and Giovanni Hunt kinda played a lot but we got a pretty bright young group and we’re all pretty close so I think we will show up in the future this year. It’s gonna be a good year.”