Kentucky fell to Texas A&M in a thrilling overtime classic on Saturday night, with freshman center Isaac Humphries committing a key technical foul in the loss.
His late-game gaffe was bizarre; a brief moment of unbridled joy that resulted in Humphries slamming the basketball onto the floor right in front of a referee.
A&M drained the ensuing foul shots and dumped in the game-winning putback layup while Humphries watched from the bench. Afterward, nobody was blaming the 18-year-old for the end result.
“He was celebrating,” coach John Calipari said. “He was so happy. There was no disrespect to anybody. There was nothing. So, if that’s what they choose to call, then what are you going to do? You can be mad or whatever, but I’m not mad at that kid. You kidding me? Great kid.”
Star point guard Tyler Ulis said Humphries — who collected 12 rebounds on the night — was endlessly apologetic afterwards.
“When he got it, we all were just so excited and came, ran to him,” Ulis said (via CoachCal.com). “He was excited as well. He started to throw it … and it came out of his hands. He was saying sorry and stuff but he really has nothing to be sorry about. He was a big help in this game and he did his job.”
Jamal Murray, Kentucky’s other All-American candidate, had no problem with Humphries’ actions.
“We didn’t really care, honestly,” Murray said (via CoachCal.com). “He put his heart and soul into that game. He fought for every ball. He made shots, made free throws. So we really didn’t care. We’re focused on just going with the consequences and just trying to get a stop.”
The first thing Humphries did when he got to his phone was reach out to Kentucky fans.
“I will learn from this,” he tweeted.