John Calipari is known for his top-notch recruiting classes. Many of the players come in expecting to only spend one year in college, and that has often been the case. There are 4-6 roster spots each year reserved for superstars that come to Kentucky to prepare for their inevitable NBA careers.
The rest of the roster is usually lesser known and has lowered expectations compared to the others. But every once in a while someone emerges as a dominant player from underneath the shadows of his teammates. If that is going to happen this season, the smart money is on Isaac Humphries.
Coach Cal says Isaac Humphries is much more confident and skilled than a year ago. Says he still has ways to go but it's what you wanna see.— CoachCal.com (@CoachCalDotCom) August 25, 2016
The 18 year old from Sydney, Australia only saw 9 minutes per game last season, but he showed flashes off high-end offensive talent and the potential to be the strong post presence Kentucky needs this year and moving forward.
As a 17 year old last season, Humphries was the youngest player on the Kentucky Wildcats team that won the SEC (regular season and tournament) and suffered a heartbreaking loss against Indiana in the NCAA Tournament. Due to his age, he was the only player not eligible for the NBA draft.
“The guy who has really improved, that I’m like ‘WOAH,’ is Isaac,” Coach Cal said. “Like, when you see Isaac now, you’re going to say, ‘My goodness, he’s not even the same guy.’ Much more confident, much more physical, much more skilled in what he’s doing and able to sustain it more.”
With a front court of Bam Adebayo (who drew Karl Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis comparisons from Calipari today), Wenyen Gabriel, and Sacha Killeya-Jones, Humphries will be the only player that can provide the combination of both height and strength.
We have already written about what some former Wildcats have said about Humphries, and some speculate that he may even start. Whether or not he is in the first five, fans should expect to see Humphries get plenty of minutes on a team that Big Blue Nation hopes makes a deep run in March.