INDIANAPOLIS — Sophomore center Isaac Humphries is unsure about his future at Kentucky.
He sat in the Wildcats locker room at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday as UK is set to begin NCAA Tournament play, but his team’s success is contrasted against a season of personal shortcomings, as he told SEC Country.
“In my mind I thought I’d be more confident, I thought I would look more confident, I thought I would be more productive,” Humphries said. “It just hasn’t really happened. I don’t know what happened, but I had a bit of a lull there and I think it got a bit too late to come out of it completely.”
Humphries played 66 more minutes this season than he did a year ago, but his role never expanded past backing up freshman big man Bam Adebayo. He said he’s not sour about the role he’s been dealt, but rather how he’s performed in it.
“I expected a different season,” Humphries said. “I expected completely to not go this way, but that happens. I’m just trying to push through everything I can and do as much as I can when I get out there.”
And that 180-degree difference between expectation and reality has the Australian contemplating his future at Kentucky. The former 4-star prospect has been overshadowed at UK and his path to playing time might not be clear next year with a slew of McDonald’s All-Americans entering the fray.
Humphries said he’s staying positive and accepting his minutes as they come, but he’s ready to weigh his options once Kentucky’s tournament run is over.
“It’s too early to say what anyone’s going to do,” Humphries said. “Like, I don’t know what my path will be next year. Obviously me being the right age to finally enter the draft, but there’s a lot of options. I don’t know anything yet. I’m trying to finish the season, finish March Madness because it’s about the team right now. It’s not about me. I’ve gotta finish that out and then kinda weigh my options. But Kentucky’s obviously a great place for development. I’m not gonna look past that at all.”
Humphries is shooting 51 percent from the floor and is averaging just south of three rebounds per game. He’s played in every game and made one start.
“His skill set is crazy,” senior forward Derek Willis said. “He can step out and make jump shots. He’s got a big body, is strong and can do a lot of things inside. He’s a real difficult matchup. It just happens this year we have Bam who’s a crazy gifted athlete and does a lot of things defensively and offensively. It’s nothing new to Isaac. It’s just how our team is this year.”
Humphries said he hasn’t talked to coach John Calipari about his future with the team, but that Calipari has those discussions once the season is over. And for now his focus, like the rest of his teammates, is on the tournament.
Humphries said there’s no point of thinking about anything else for now. And whether his career continues at Kentucky or not, Humphries’ plan is to regain what now seems lost.
“Get comfortable again,” he said. “Find my skin again and just start all over.”