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Isaac Humphries is leaving Kentucky


We heard some rumblings about this even before the season ended, but this morning, the news just became official. UK just announced that Isaac Humphries is going to pursue his options in the NBA and internationally. He will sign with an agent, ending his career at Kentucky.

“First and foremost, I want to thank the Big Blue Nation for its unwavering support,” Humphries said in a release from UK. “Coming from Australia, I had no idea what to expect when I got to Kentucky, but you made me one of your own. Your support and passion over the last two years has been unbelievable. I can’t thank you enough for making me feel at home.

“This decision didn’t come easily for me. My goal has always been to play professionally. There is no better place to prepare you to take that step than the University of Kentucky. Over the last two years, thanks to Coach Cal and the coaching staff, I’ve gotten so much better and improved my game. I believe I have a lot more I can do, but I also believe that the time for me to take the next step is now.

“At the end of the day I have to do what I believe is best for myself and my family. I know turning pro is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I understand that these next few weeks and months with the pre-draft process is going to take a lot of hard work and maybe some realistic truths. But, because of what I’ve learned at Kentucky and the support I have from my family and this school, I also feel like I’m ready to face those challenges and that I’m prepared for whatever is next and wherever that may take me.

“It’s going to be difficult not playing at Kentucky next season and I’m going to miss everything that comes with being a Wildcat. I’ll miss my brothers. The friends I have made here and the relationships I have formed will last a lifetime. During such a developing time of my life, it was a true blessing to be surrounded by such incredible people, fans, and teammates who were always looking out for me and always had my back.”

Last season, Isaac averaged 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 51.1 percent from the floor. Sadly, his final game at Kentucky was his best. Against North Carolina in the Elite Eight, Isaac put up a career-high 12 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal in in 21 minutes. After struggling to find his niche all season, he looked like a complete player, hitting jumpers, layups, and free throws, all while playing impressive defense and injecting the team with some much-needed energy.

“This was a difficult decision for Isaac but one that he and his mom put a lot of thought into,” head coach John Calipari said. “Isaac has gotten so much better in his two seasons here and I believe he’s only begun to scratch the surface of his true potential. I absolutely understand and fully support his decision and I will do whatever I can to help his dreams come true. You’re talking about a 7-footer who can shoot and can rebound. That has value anywhere in the world. He’s also just 19 years old, the youngest sophomore in the country this past season. Everyone forgets how young he is and how much he’s going to continue to grow and develop. He’s only going to get better and better. My belief is what you saw at the end of this season is just the beginning of his pro career.”

Best of luck to Isaac in the next chapter of his life. We’ll always have this moment of him serenading Shannon Spake:


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

57 Comments for Isaac Humphries is leaving Kentucky

  1. Peas and Carrots
    10:16 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Dang. Gonna miss that big Australian.

  2. lukebuddeke
    10:16 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Sad to see him go

  3. MasterBurglar
    10:23 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    As much as I wish he would stay, I can’t be mad at him going for his dreams.

    Good Luck and thank you for your time and heart you showed BBN

  4. KTR2786
    10:23 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Well that sucks, Isaac played his role, but was certainly starting to develop into a player that could play more minutes. Also, a entertaining guy; hope he does well wherever he ends up.

  5. SanDiegoCats
    10:26 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Man, can’t we ever get a surprise return. Ever.

    • WCS15UK
      10:34 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      What about the twins? T-Jones? Briscoe?

    • plumloopy
      10:36 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      WCS was a big one.

    • BCO
      10:37 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      I think by surprise return he meant a player that was projected to go lottery coming back. Ala Patrick Patterson, WCS junior year, T-Jones.

      Thats the only real surprises that come to mind. Everyone else who came back shouldve been coming back to begin with.

  6. KTR2786
    10:35 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Good to know he’s going pro and didn’t transfer because he felt he was getting pushed out.

  7. Ridge Runner
    10:35 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Cool guy but we really need to leave NBA out of this potential. Let’s be real.

    • Chad
      11:03 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      You can’t teach 7’0. That is a big commodity in the league.

  8. BCO
    10:37 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    I think by surprise return he meant a player that was projected to go lottery coming back. Ala Patrick Patterson, WCS junior year, T-Jones.

    Thats the only real surprises that come to mind. Everyone else who came back shouldve been coming back to begin with.

  9. EdC
    10:38 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Right when it looked like he was figuring it out and was going to earn time next season.

    • tubby b smith
      5:02 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      you know why jussayin…that skin color in Lexington

    • EdC
      6:59 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Sir the dimmest of bulbs really shouldn’t call attention to themselves.

    • catsarerunnin
      8:14 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      One of the dumbest post ever.

  10. blackmilk23
    10:41 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Him and Briscoe honestly made the best decisions.

    • JusSayin
      10:43 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Yea but people are going to be a lot nicer to Humphries in the comments than they were to Briscoe because people don’t like Briscoe for some reason. He was the most polarizing player at UK since Andrew Harrison.

    • GroundControlToNumber9
      12:36 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      JusSayin – Nonsense.

      Neither player is NBA material currently. Both can hang around the D-League.

      If Humphies can show another gear and be (quicker & smarter) to the ball on Defense it will improve his chances).

      If Briscoe can learn how to shoot consistently from outside of 2′ from the basket his future changes immensely.

      The problem you’re alluding to is simply based on court time. We complained about Briscoe because he was simply on the court more often. Very easy to understand.

    • JusSayin
      1:26 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Maybe that is why YOU complained about him but you can’t honestly claim you didn’t see any of the ridiculous Anti-Briscoe comments here. I mean at one point people were saying we should completely bench him and only play Mulder and Hawkins.

    • GroundControlToNumber9
      2:03 am April 13, 2017 Permalink

      JusSayin –

      Briscoe’s Deal
      1. A Division 1 combo guard
      2. Who was top 10 out of high school (projected potential one and done)
      3. Averaging more than 25 minutes a game (Cal’s decision)

      With these stats:

      Get the f u c k out of here… your trolling.

      The Briscoe criticism starts with Briscoe. Then when he keeps costing the team (chemistry, wins, development) the blame shifts to Calipari for playing him.

      Humphries Deal
      1. was a ‘project’ player
      2. No expectation (or timeline)
      3. Not top 100 out of high school (international get)

      – Real basketball fans (with knowledge of the game) have every reason to say both players are getting ready to face the music of reality.

      – Briscoe got major criticism due to the failed expectations (see stats). Also if you watched both seasons (and the prgressions) you’d see there was more trouble with him than what the stats show (when the team was suppose to be developing in Dec, Jan, & Feb) they went backwards both years (with the ball in his hands).

      Remember, he was named the team leader at the beginning of the season by Cal. When they went backwards those specific games are when he stop being a playmaker for his teammates and an aggressive defender.

      During the season Briscoe IS GOING TO GET CRITICIZED when he isn’t playing up to the level he was recruited at.

      Had Calipari known Briscoe would only hit 46% of his free throws his freshman season and 63% his sophmore year (as a starting guard)… Cal wouldn’t have recruited him out of high school. The kid failed to live up to his hype (why he’s not projected for the draft).

      – Humphries being a ‘project’ big man who can shoot from the outside has a significantly larger upside (he’s only now the age of the typical freshman). Who’s going to criticize a player with no hype getting limited minutes during the season? There’s no reason.

      Now post season people share their opinions. In the end we just want to win. We all know that is more likely to happen with Humphries than with Briscoe (in the roles they were given).

      Get it?

  11. UkfanMatt
    10:49 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    I think Humphries will be drafted off of his future potential, possibly in the last 10 picks of the draft. Reminds me of an underdeveloped Dirk

    • blackmilk23
      10:58 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      I can’t tell if you are being serious or not…

    • Kevin C
      11:24 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      If by “underdeveloped” you mean “has yet to show he can hit a 3-point shot”, then yeah….

    • JusSayin
      12:01 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Yea 19 year old Dirk Nowitzki got 33 and 14 in the NIKE hoop summit game against Rashard Lewis, AL Harrington and Stromile Swfit.

      He was a 7 footer with guard skills.

      Humphires is a 7 footer that barely has center skills.

      Humphries has lots of upside. But he is not even the same type of player as Dirk.

      His ceiling is Andrew Bogut. His basement is Dakari Johnson.

  12. archie926
    10:53 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    It sorta feels like a reset is happening here. Outside of last year’s class, everyone (with exception of Wynyard) has declared with mixed levels of potential success.

    • sp
      10:57 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Kinda like how we have to reset every year?

    • archie926
      12:08 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      No, like cleaning house

  13. a21CATSfan
    11:12 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    I’m in between on my thoughts on this. Originally having Bam and Humphries back led me to believe our frontcourt was too deep for Mo Bamba to be attracted (even though he will start regardless). With Bam, Hump, Tai, Sacha, Wenyen, PJ and Vando; that’s a lot of depth up front. Adding Mo would’ve been the icing on the cake. Now with Humphries gone and Bam probably leaving, I don’t know if we sound attractive enough for Mo. I’m ready to find out. He is the missing piece.

    • StuckinLville
      11:36 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      If mock drafts are right and Bam drops to the second round, he will come back. With Humphries gone, that could leave Bamba and Bam in the front court.


      Obviously Vanderbilt, Washington and other guys are versatile. This team truly will be positionless if it plays out like we hope.

    • GroundControlToNumber9
      11:50 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      PJ Washington is the most seasoned player in this years class (and top ranked player). Vanderbilt & Diallo are close seconds.

      Bamba will see the court (if he comes here) however he’s raw like Gabriel was last year.

      Here’s what I’m thinking: (with player positions in parentheses).

      Green (1) > Gilgeous-Alexander (1, 2)
      Diallo (2, 3) > Baker (1, 2)
      Vanderbilt (2, 3, 4)
      Washington (3, 4) > Gabriel (3, 4, 5) > Killeya-Jones (4, 5)
      Adabayo (4, 5) > Bamba (4, 5) > Richards (5) > Wynyard (5)

  14. Marcus Areolas
    11:15 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Makes me appreciate Willis and Hawkins even more. Geez.

  15. blueballs80
    11:18 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    This makes room for Mo Bamba. What concerns me is we have a roster with no experience minus Gabriel. SKJ couldn’t find a lick of playing time so there’s that. Who will fill the leadership void?

    • GroundControlToNumber9
      12:15 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Adabayo & Gabriel will bring Leadership as Sophmores (if Adabayo returns).

      Green can be relied on to keep turnovers down and run the show (and should settle in by January, plenty of potential to be even sooner). This will give Gilgeous-Alexander an opportunity to get much need minutes throughout Nov and Dec.

      Diallo knows the system the best (having spent the past semester in it). He will need to show his ability as a trusted ball handler & playmaker to make the team as fluid as possible.

      Vanderbilt & Washington have ‘presence’ on the court above their years. They will settle in the quickest. Vanderbilt will do anything for the team… the MKG of this group. He will cleanup with rebounds, help defense, etc. I’d love to see Washington show that same ‘unselfish versatility’.

      This will be the youngest team Cal’s put on the court but I love the potential. With or without Bamba we could be tougher to beat than this past years team (because the team defense should be MUCH better). If Bamba comes the team defense will likely be the best of the Calipari decade. Regardless of the rotation on the court no one should ever be able to drive to the rim against this team.

  16. 8xchamp
    11:20 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Good, with no brickscoe and lumphreys I’ll be a lot less frustrated next year.

  17. Kyblue34
    11:32 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Sorry to see him go, but can’t really blame him. He is still very inexperienced, and has the chance to be a very good player down the road, but he simply needs more playing time and in game experience. He hasn’t and wasn’t going to get that here. Good luck to him.

  18. GroundControlToNumber9
    11:36 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Humphries isn’t an NBA defender or rebounder.

    He isn’t even a college defender or rebounder.

    These kids come to Kentucky and get all ‘caught up’ because the other kid in the Kentucky jersey next to them is ‘one and done.’ Well, Malik Monk is a ‘special talent that comes around once every 20 years.’

    In today’s NBA there’s a logjam of slow 7 footers who can hit a 15′ jumper but will never see the court because they are a defensive liability (and simply get beat going for rebounds by hungrier athletes).

    Just because Kentucky recruits you doesn’t mean you are Magic Johnson.

    I hope Issac bring 5 times as much effort to his defense and rebounding if he gets a professional chance. That’s what it would take for him to see success.

  19. runtsfan
    11:43 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    If he had been given the opportunity to play more I think the team would have gone farther than it did with Bam. But Bam was more highly recruited so he gets to play. That’s the deal in Lex.

    • bbanks81
      11:58 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Good thing you are not our coach……are you drunk?

    • celf22
      12:06 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Yeah…. No. He was terrible lol

    • Alex90
      12:09 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Yea they needed to be worse on defense…..

    • GroundControlToNumber9
      12:19 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      runtsfan – Humphries starting over Bam is a punishable offense.

      You’re not drunk, you’re sniffing glue.

      12:37 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      I agree that we did not get to see what he could do, there were times where you could see the potential. Had he stayed all 4 years I think he would have eventually been a double, double guy. However he was not a fit for Cal’s system. Below the rim bigs do not thrive in Cals system because of his HUGE FOCUS on lob dunks and block shots. For that reason I think we were better off playing with Bam. He would have fit in well with a school like Gonzagaga. Good luck to the kid and thank you so much for those 2 good games.

  20. Lip Man 1
    11:44 am April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Wish him well but this is an insane decision…seven feet tall or not. Maybe they pay pretty well in the Australian league because this kid is about as far away from the NBA as someone who is four feet tall.

  21. celf22
    12:06 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

    It’s honestly a joke that everyone bashes Briscoe for leaving and praises Isaac and wishes him the best. He played 6 minutes of good basketball this season and everyone worships him (even though we still lost that game). The dude is bad. Makes me sad to be a UK fan when I see these things.

    • timewilltell
      12:34 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      Hump is a 19 year old kid. We should him and Brisco the best. They will always be a part of the BBN

    • timewilltell
      12:34 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink


    • Kyblue34
      12:38 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      You’re comparing apples to oranges. Briscoe was given 30 minutes per game no matter what or how he was playing. There were games where he was a turnover machine, games where he was a huge liability on offense, and games where he couldn’t guard anyone. Didn’t matter as he still got his minutes. Humphries on the other hand played even less minutes than he did as a freshman despite the fact that he was the best true center we had, and when he did get to play, Cal would yank him to the bench whether he was playing good or not. You can’t expect someone who only gets 5-10 minutes per game to have any kind of flow, rhythm, or confidence in their game, especially when they know they’re going to get benched for even one minor mistake. Humphries is a lot better than you give him credit for, and would have played major minutes if not started for many of the other teams in the top 25 (Kansas, UofL, and Duke would have loved to have had him just to name a few). At the end of the day, it’s not about bashing Briscoe or praising Humphries, but the question is why do some players get longer leashes and more opportunities than others? Is it just the number of stars they had by their name? I have no beef with either or them leaving, and wish them both luck.

    • GroundControlToNumber9
      12:39 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      We complained about Briscoe because he was simply on the court more often. Very easy to understand.

    • blackmilk23
      2:49 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      People don’t like Briscoe. At one point most of the criticism he received was actually legit… by late February people had lost all objectivity.

      KSR ran like 3 pieces in a row about how he was playing poorly and one of the pieces even acknowledged he wasn’t actually playing that bad.

      Tony Delk got on TV and said Mulder should start because he hit 2 threes off the bench one game… after that I would almost swear up and down Mulder didn’t hit another 3 the rest of the season. People just have their Pitchforks out for Briscoe.

  22. Alex90
    12:07 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Briscoe got the most out of his talent while he was here and worked extremely hard on his body and jumper yet everyone criticized him? Humphries underperformed this season and whole he lost weight didn’t improve any yet the same people say they’ll miss him. Why?

    • JusSayin
      2:52 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

      I’ll miss him and I actually think he has more upside than Briscoe… but I agree. Its weird to see some of the same people telling Briscoe how stupid he is praising Humphries.

      But I will add Humphries is just doing what he very likely would have been doing had he never come to UK. Playing pro.

  23. Frieda
    12:38 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Hate to see him go but I certainly don’t fault these young men for trying to better their lives and the lives of their families. I hope, in addition to honing his basketball skills Coach has shown him some life lessons! Hate it when these guys go make big money in the NBA and squander it all!
    Good luck to Isaac!

  24. DrewP
    12:42 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Think down the road he will regret jumping so early, another year could make huge gains for him. To each is own.

  25. 3 fan
    1:30 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Call me crazy but I believe SKJ and Tai both leave also.

  26. chadwikk
    7:01 pm April 12, 2017 Permalink

    Been a cats fan for 40 years and have seen a ton of talent come and go.

    Every year I see someone leaving that should stay and it’s the same this year.

    What part of, if you stay and get better and / or Win a championship then you get paid BIG BUCKS instead of chump change, relatively speaking. It will take you years and years of paying dues and even then you have to get lucky to get NBA money vs being a lottery pick / first round and having it right of the bat.

    Ask Liggins if going pro his junior year has paid off? One more year and he would of had a title and first round money….and I absolutely have hoped Liggins would make it, he’s making headway finally and getting the respect he deserves. Never in my time of watching the cats have I seen such a turn around in attitude and effort he gave us after his terrible first year.

    Injurys can happen anywhere at any time, so that’s no excuse compared to the Hugh amount of money you can get if taken in first round.

    Humpdog and Briscoe are D league at best….chump change compared to first round money. They both will toil around D league / overseas ball until they are done. You get one shot at first round money and they both are throwing it away…

    Does Humphries remind anyone of Lee, neither could play defense and fouled way way to much and to fast and both thought / think they are ready for the NBA…..