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Isaac Humphries…the Big Man We Have Been Waiting For


It of course had to happen on Friday night. While I was in the far Western part of Kentucky for Fancy Farm, eating with the KSR crew at Patti’s Settlement (which is really, really good), the news that we have hinted at for a number of weeks finally broke. Kentucky is looking to add big man Isaac Humphries to the 2015 class to join the team this year. Many were surprised by the news, but those that listen to KSR were not. I have been hinting for 6 weeks that it was coming because this has been in the works for UK since the last two big men that UK was interested in for the 2015 class (Caleb Swanigan and Check Diallo) made decisions to go elsewhere. The Cats decided that Humphries, a talented big man that was initially supposed to be in the 2016 class, would be a good addition to this year and pay dividends for next, while not scaring off any top recruits. Plus, there was the added benefit of keeping the news relatively silent for a long time, thus not allowing other schools to come after him once they knew he was interested in reclassifying. It was, and is, a win-win.

Since the announcement, I have seen some UK fans online complaining that they don’t think Humphries is good enough or the signing doesn’t make sense, all the while having never watched him play one game ever. That is of course an idiotic and uninformed opinion. If you haven’t at this point learned to give Calipari a little benefit of the doubt, you never will. Here is the thinking behind adding Humphries from UK’s side…the Australian is a big guy that the Cats see as a meaty body for this year, who can develop into a Jorts-like contributor in the second year. They like the talent that he has and his ability to shoot and rebound. While the 2016 class is loaded with perimeter players and long athletes that can fly, true big men aren’t in high abundance. Calipari knows he will lose Skal and Poythress this year and realizes he could lose Marcus Lee depending on how things go. While Kentucky will likely get Sacha Killeya-Jones and likely one more big man, having Humphries allows a top 50 talent who can develop and be very good over time. That is a win-win. Plus, Isaac is tough and on a team this year that may lack a little toughness (outside of Tyler Ulis), that is a very valuable commodity.

It is important to note however that Humphries is not yet eligible to play at Kentucky this year. Since the decision to reclassify was made late, he has had to take a number of classes to get eligible for next year and that process has not been completed. It will not be done for the next 2 weeks or so and that is partially why the news had not been leaked. It came out this weekend after he visited while camps were in town and because he was with Jamal Murray a great deal (they are friends from various international events). Before everyone assumes he is on the team, this process has to finish and he has to actually get eligible.

I see the addition of Humphries as a great one for UK…he provides a big body for this year and has a chance to develop into a very good player. Calipari isn’t out for charity cases…this is a Top 50 talent who is VERY big while also being skilled. It is another late grab for Kentucky from Calipari and one that I think will be big both this year, and in the future.

Article written by Matt Jones

19 Comments for Isaac Humphries…the Big Man We Have Been Waiting For

  1. Elroy
    8:54 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    How will this affect Tai Wynyard and his possible arrival midseason?

    • poppycat
      9:38 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

      Won’t………..the better one will fill the role of 4th man up front or the heavy weight as needed.

    • HanOfTheBluegrass
      9:39 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

      Just more talent to compete against.

  2. bigdog1214
    8:59 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    Great get. Could be a 2 or 3 year guy.

  3. bosshogg24
    9:01 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    Great post Matt, you are 100% RIGHT!

  4. Bbn#1
    9:04 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    If we add this guy and tai that could let skal play the 5 Lee the for and poy the 3 then we would be really big and athletic again

  5. HanOfTheBluegrass
    9:39 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    It’s been funny seeing a lot of the Matt Jones haters over at RR back pedal on their previous crowing about Matt being full of crap about UK looking at a big man.

  6. @BallBlog_Chad
    9:53 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    Who’s the big guy from Italy that Tipton was talking about?

  7. Ridge Runner
    10:03 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    Aree 100%, Matt. Thanks for explaining the reason nothing is official from UK yet.

  8. tkat
    10:40 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    Watching him on video it appears he has a solid jumper, good footwork for a big guy and a few post moves. Kenny P. will turn this guy into a beast.

  9. Smyrna_Cat
    10:48 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    Great pick-up!!!!

  10. Lou
    11:21 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    Saw him play in City of Palms in December and wrote:
    ISAAC HUMPHRIES [/B]- La Lumiere[/B] (LaPorte, IN); 2016 C; 7′-00″; 260; 4-Star; 247Sports rank 28; Heavy Kansas lean; from Australia – 12/21/2014 lost to Danube City (Vienna, Austria) 61 – 46; FG 4/6; 3’s 0/0; FT 2/4; Reb 4; PF 5; TP 10; A 1; TO 3; Blk 1; Stl 1; Min 17:32 – Big, but just looked like a stiff against this Vienna/Munich team. Fouled out in only 17 minutes. Footwork was awful.
    12/23/2014 lost to Potter’s House Christian Academy (Jacksonville, FL) with Udoka Azubuike 54 – 57; FG 7/11; 3’s 0/0; FT 3/7; Reb 4; PF 2; TP 17; A 2; TO 4; Blk 1; Stl 1; Min 25:46 –
    I thought this would be a total mis-match against Azubuike, but he won the battle of these two bigs. Can’t believe Humphries looked so terrible two days ago and then turned in this performance today. I guess he deserves his #16 ranking in the 2016 class. We was a
    horse down low today!

  11. Angelo
    11:57 pm August 2, 2015 Permalink

    This back pedaling is disappointing….

  12. iHUSER
    1:58 am August 3, 2015 Permalink

    So is he playing this year or no?

    • satcheluk
      1:22 pm August 3, 2015 Permalink

      Read the article. It is pretty clear.

  13. Hicksy
    6:04 am August 3, 2015 Permalink

    Seems like a good pickup. He’s our Dakari replacement and if Cal got Dakari drafted this year he can do the same for this kid in a few years. If this team was missing anything at all it was strength and now they may have it. It is a little interesting we would get him to reclassify if Tai is coming in December since they would both probably play that Dakari role this year. To me it says more about how Cal feels about next year’s class. Either he thinks there’s a good chance Marcus will be gone or he’s not sure he can make it 8 straight years of taking a top 10 big man and getting him drafted in the top 7 the following year, so he wants as many guys as possible. Giles and Maker seem like the only two guys who fit that bill in 2016 and Giles seems like a long shot. I’ll be surprised if Marcus leaves, he seems to like school and want to graduate so assuming he and Ulis are both back next year and with our bench set for the next two years, we only need to replace a few guys. Skal, Murray, Alex and Briscoe is the wildcard. If we can get some form of Maker, Monk/Fultz, Bridges/Alkins I’ll be thrilled but with so many good guards like De’Aaron Fox and Kobi Simmons available, wings won’t be a problem. One elite big man to replace Skal and one elite scoring wing to replace Murray and the Big Blue train keeps rolling along.

  14. clhcat
    9:18 am August 3, 2015 Permalink

    Last night I posted a comment that called Matt on the carpet for calling other folks opinions “idiotic”. I said Cawood would never have said that….my comment was removed. I’ve said before that if you post it….its fair for me to comment on it. Obviously Matt disagrees. That is the mark of a socialist/communist…..silence the opposition. On another post, another writer called Donald Trump a “false prophet”. The Donald is just saying what a LOT of other folks are thinking and don’t have the guts to say.
    Matt, this “propaganda machine” you run here is nothing more than a toy for rich Duke grads or liberal inexperienced college boys to play on. Grow up. If you can’t handle a dissenting comment from and old Kentucky boy….what gives you the right to play politics at Fancy Farm?

    • cig107
      10:45 am August 3, 2015 Permalink

      Ha, funny stuff right here. Tell him to grow up, yet can’t handle him calling an idiotic opinion what it is? Methinks you are one who holds an idiotic and idiotic opinion Matt speaks of, methinks you think you know better than our staff and therefore offended at the notion that you don’t.

      Methinks you lost all credibility once you spit out the Donald Trump defense and “propaganda machine” back to back.

      Thanks for the laughs. Stop being so damn sensitive. Old Kentucky boys, as you claim to be, are not sensitive.

    • satcheluk
      1:24 pm August 3, 2015 Permalink

      Communists aren’t the only one’s who suppress dissent. Facism comes to mind. Oh and KSR isn’t a government.