A fifth Kentucky Wildcats declared for the NBA Draft on Wednesday, as Isaac Humphries announced his plans to forego his final two years of eligibility and turn professional. He will sign with an agent.
“This decision didn’t come easily for me. My goal has always been to play professionally,” Humphries said. “There is no better place to prepare you to take that step than the University of Kentucky. Over the last two years, thanks to Coach Cal and the coaching staff, I’ve gotten so much better and improved my game. I believe I have a lot more I can do, but I also believe that the time for me to take the next step is now.”
“At the end of the day I have to do what I believe is best for myself and my family. I know turning pro is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I understand that these next few weeks and months with the pre-draft process is going to take a lot of hard work and maybe some realistic truths. But, because of what I’ve learned at Kentucky and the support I have from my family and this school, I also feel like I’m ready to face those challenges and that I’m prepared for whatever is next and wherever that may take me.”
Humphries is a seven-foot Australian that played somewhat limited minutes in his two seasons in Lexington. He averaged just 2.8 points and 2.8 boards this past season, although he had a breakout performance in Kentucky’s Elite 8 loss to North Carolina.
“This was a difficult decision for Isaac but one that he and his mom put a lot of thought into,” head coach John Calipari said. “Isaac has gotten so much better in his two seasons here and I believe he’s only begun to scratch the surface of his true potential. I absolutely understand and fully support his decision and I will do whatever I can to help his dreams come true. You’re talking about a 7-footer who can shoot and can rebound. That has value anywhere in the world. He’s also just 19 years old, the youngest sophomore in the country this past season. Everyone forgets how young he is and how much he’s going to continue to grow and develop. He’s only going to get better and better. My belief is what you saw at the end of this season is just the beginning of his pro career.”
Humphries joins De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe in signing with agents. Bam Adebayo has not yet decided on whether or not he will return for another season.