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Thursday / February 29.
  • Isaac Humphries to Reclass to 2015, Enroll at Kentucky

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    FIBA U17 World Championships - DubaiIsaac Humphries, a 7-foot, 255-pound center from Australia, will reclassify and enroll at Kentucky for the 2015-16 season.

    “Happy to finally announce that I will be attending the University of Kentucky and reclassifying to 2015 #BBN,” he Tweeted.

    Humphries is expected to be on campus on Saturday for the start of classes next week, former La Lumiere (IN) associate head coach Brad Johnstin told on Thursday.

    Originally from Sydney, Australia, Humphries was a vital piece of the Australian U17 National Team that won the silver medal at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship. Guiding the Australians to the championship game, Humphries led the team in scoring (18.9 points per game), rebounding (11.6 rebounds per game), blocked shots (3.3 blocks per game) and field-goal percentage (.576).

    “I watched Isaac when he first came over to the United States in high school in Indiana and was impressed with his skill and size,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “He reminded me of a much bigger Josh Harrellson. He’s very skilled, has great hands and is a great passer. To have a 7-footer who just turned 17, he has a lot still in front of him, and the best part is he wants the challenge of playing at Kentucky.”

    Humphries enrolled at La Lumiere (IN) in January and then drew interest from Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, Arizona and others.

    “There were a lot of other schools in the process but when it really came down to  it, it’s really hard to pass up this opportunity to go to Kentucky at this time,” Johnstin said.

    “It’s the opportunity to play for Coach Calipari and kind of what Kentucky is right now. He’s different from the other bigs that they have. He’s more below the rim but he’s skilled with both hands, physical, a really, really good passer, high IQ. He’s just kind of a different look and he’s going to give Kentucky another big body.”

    The addition of Humphries marks the second huge late recruiting coup for Calipari, who previously got Canadian point guard Jamal Murray to reclass to 2015 and commit to the Wildcats.

    “He’ll be an impact guy from Day 1,” one Australian source who has followed Humphries for quite some time told “He’ll surprise some people.”

    The source added: “Isaac is a 2-year guy at Kentucky. More than likely he declares in 2017.”

    Johnstin added that Humphries doesn’t turn 18 until January and thus will spend at least two years at Kentucky before being eligible for the NBA Draft in 2017 or later.

    “With his age, he’ll probably be the youngest kid in college basketball next year,” Johnstin said. “He has to go to college for two years. He’s not a one-and-done guy because he has to go to college for two years, which gives him an opportunity to play there for two years which should help his development.”

    With the addition of Humphries, Kentucky will have players from Australia, Canada (Murray and Mychal Mulder), Haiti (Skal Labissiere) and New Zealand (Tai Wynyard, expected to enroll in December.)

    Kentucky lost four big men to the NBA Draft this year in Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson and freshman forward Trey Lyles, but will add Labissiere and Humphries along with guards Mulder, Murray, Isaiah Briscoe and Charles Matthews. The Wildcats also got a commitment Wednesday from 2016 power forward Sacha Killeya-Jones.

    Labissiere is the projected No. 1 pick in 2016 by, and Johnstin believes Humphries and Labissiere will complement each other well.

    “Obviously, Skal is the consensus No. 1 pick and playing against that guy every day, with his height, his athleticism will help Isaac so much. I think Isaac is going to be physical and will go at Skal every day and will give him the best competition he can have.”

    There had been rumblings that Labissiere might not qualify, but he expressed confidence in April that he would.

    “I’ll be able to play right away,” Labissiere told The Courier-Journal. “The NCAA is going to clear me and I’ll be able to play right away.”

    Calipari watched Humphries in January when the big man went for 21 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks as La Lumiere (IN) beat Wasatch Academy (UT), 71-54.

    Calipari was the only head coach able to make it through the weather that night, but assistants from Purdue, Butler and Loyola-Marymount were also on hand.

    Calipari recently hinted at adding a second big while speaking with reporters recently.

    “Do you play with two bigs?” Calipari said. “Now we’re going to have an opportunity to play with two 7-footers again if we choose to do that, but we may play three guards. It’s not my druthers, but we could do that. We may go back to the dribble-drive. There’s so many questions.”

    He added: “You’re recruiting guys who don’t want to run from this; this is what they want. And whether they’re from Lexington, Ky., or from Toronto, Canada, or from Australia, New Zealand, who wants this? Because guys that play here will tell you: You gotta want this. You can’t run from it. You gotta run at it. And those are the guys that come here and have success. So it’s not been by design but, again, the guys we have, I don’t care where they’re from. They’re pretty good players.”


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    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.

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