Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, Arizona Among Those Recruiting 2016 Australian Big Man Isaac Humphries
Kentucky’s John Calipari, Kansas’ Bill Self, Duke’s Jon Scheyer and Arizona’s Joe Pasternack are among the coaches expected in Thursday night to watch 7-foot 2016 Australian sensation Isaac Humphries of La Porte (IN) La Lumiere when they play Wasatch Academy (UT).
Weather could be a factor that could impact the coaches’ travel, head coach Shane Heirman said, but Humphries has already attracted attention from Kentucky and others high-majors.
“He’s new, he’s intriguing, he’s 7 foot, he’s really agile and skilled so he’s someone I think [Kentucky] would be interested in,” Brad Johnstin, La Lumiere’s associate head coach, told SNY.tv.
Johnston said Duke, Kansas, Arizona, UCLA, Oregon and “just about everybody” has reached out.
Oregon and UCLA assistants were in Saturday, and N.C. State and Utah are also expected soon.
“He’s freakishly skilled,” Johnstin said. “He’s the most skilled 7-footer I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t really have an upside just because it’s that high. Because of his body and how flexible he is, I think he’s going to play basketball for a really long time. His outside shot, his form, his mechanics are great. It’s just essentially getting reps down and honing in on that.
“I think he’s going to be able to play some five and four professionally. He’s just gotta keep developing that. In terms of his upside, he sees and feels the game so well. He’s competitive, he’s tough, he’s just putting everything together.”
Humphries burst onto the scene this summer while playing for the Australian U17 team that won the silver medal, losing to the USA in Dubai. He also played for the Australian Institute of Sport, which has featured Dante Exum and other young Australian stars. He arrived in the U.S. at La Lumiere just before Christmas.
Johnstin said Humphries never watched American college basketball in Australia, but Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that he saw ESPN’s “All-Access” and learned about Kentucky that way.
“I think he saw an episode or two, just randomly,” Johnstin said.
He added: “He really didn’t know what AAU was until I met him in April, but he’s figuring it all out really quickly. He’s doing a good job of handling it.”
As for a timeframe on a decision, “I think he would like to have his five official visits maybe around August, just have an idea,” Johnston said. “But there’s no rush in terms of that. He’s so wide open, he’s so new to all of this. He’s really looking to build relationships with those guys.”
Photo: Getty Images
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.