This was not how Isaac Humphries' breakout game was supposed to end.
With UK already without Alex Poythress and losing Derek Willis, Isaac Humphries needed to step up in a big way with the Cats on the ropes at Texas A&M. He did that and then some, finishing with six points on 2-of-2 shooting with 12 boards, a steal and two blocks.
But unfortunately, everyone will remember the technical on Isaac with nine seconds left in overtime that effectively allowed A&M a chance to win the game at the buzzer, which they did.
It seemed excessive to call a tech on Humphries after he pulled down a huge rebound in overtime with UK up one and the chance to put the game away. Other teammates were celebrating with chest shoves on him, and he reacted with his own gesture of elation when he threw the ball hard off the court in the same manner a football player spikes a football when scoring a touchdown.
After the game, Humphries couldn't help but repeatedly say he was sorry to teammates in the locker room. Tyler Ulis was very vocal about not thinking Humphries was wrong, needing to be sorry or at fault for the loss.
"He kept saying sorry, but I just told him there’s nothing to be sorry about," Ulis said. "Disregard it. They’ll make these free throws and they still have to come down and score. And they came down and they scored. You can’t blame this on Isaac at all. Isaac came in and did a great job and I told him multiple times, there’s nothing to be sorry about. He’s still in the locker room saying sorry."
Humphries later took to Twitter to express how he'll learn from this.
I will learn from this #BBN— Isaac Humphries (@IsaacHumphries7) February 21, 2016
When asked about the technical, Texas A&M's Jalen Jones thanked Isaac for the mental error.
"I was like, ‘Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity,'" Jones said when asked for his reaction to the late T on Humphries. "So, thanks to the dude on the other team."
As for A&M head coach Billy Kennedy, he said the technical on him earlier in the game, nor the technical on Humphries, "weren't very good," but did admit the rules are the rules.
"If a kid slams the ball on the floor, that's the rule," Kennedy said.
ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg doesn't agree.
That action was not unsportsmanlike and after speaking to a number of Officals the feeling is you can pass on that call.— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) February 21, 2016
John Calipari isn't allowed to speak about officiating, but read between the lines and you'll see his message for the refs during his postgame remarks.
"He (Isaac) was celebrating, he was so happy, there was no disrespect to anybody," Cal said. "If that’s what they choose to call, what are you going to do? You can be mad or whatever, but I’m not mad at that kid, are you kidding me? Great kid."
In the end, it's thankfully just a regular-season game. This probably isn't going to decide UK's ultimate fate, not to mention they get to play again in just three days. This isn't a tournament game or something that's going to have a profound effect on UK's season. A win would have been nice, but a loss on the road to a top-25 team isn't bad.
This is something Isaac and the Cats should move on from and look ahead to Alabama. There's no reason to let this loss sting more than it has to.