By LARRY VAUGHT
Freshman Isaac Humphries talked to the media Friday for the first time since his controversial technical foul at Texas A&M when he slammed the ball into the floor with just a few seconds left in overtime.
“I was just so excited, I was so pumped up. Tyler (Ulis) came over and was so happy too. I don’t know. I honestly don’t know why I did it, but I was just so happy. It was just the first thing I thought of really,” Humphries said.
“I mean, it was just surreal. Like I had no idea what was going on, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was just in shock.”
He said in Australia, it was not an automatic technical foul for throwing the basketball.
“If you’re swearing and all that sort of stuff and you throw it, then yeah it’s a tech-foul. But I don’t know, I didn’t know that was a rule,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever done it, which is weird.”
He said family and friends were watching the Texas A&M game in Australia.
“I made sure that they watched it, so that was exciting,” Humphries said. “The news went around the world pretty quickly. None of my friends don’t really know much about what it meant, so I just had to explain to them what happened. But I mean, everyone was just supportive.”
That included his current teammates.
“The support from the guys and the coaches was awesome because I did feel terrible and just their support made me feel better,” Humphries said.
The players had some fun with Humphries Tuesday when Kentucky hosted Alabama. First, Isaiah Briscoe spiked the ball during the team’s pregame huddle.
“He would do something like that. He does it before every game, but just that game, it was too soon,” Humphries joked.
Ulis also told Humphries the wrong spot to sit during the team’s pregame introductions when he got his first UK start.
“I had no idea what I was doing because usually I go and stand in the same spot every time, I watch the video and then do the little huddle thing. But I didn’t know where to go, and he made me sit at the end of the bench and he was like, ‘That’s the five’s spot, that’s the five spot,'” Humphries said.
“Then everyone was like, ‘What are you doing? Everyone is at that end.’ And I was like, ‘Oh.’ I don’t know.’ I was a bit embarrassed. But luckily it was black (with the lights out in the arena) at that point and no one could see anything.”
Humphries said he was lucky to get the start and he appreciated what coach John Calipari did for him.
“It just reassures me that he has my back especially at like a time like that. It was also cool to know that he trusted in me to start a game,” Humphries said
Calipari says for Humphries to play today at Vanderbilt, he has to be able to do more than defend inside.
“They’re size, though, other than (Damien) Jones, they’re size is jump shooters. I mean, they’ll go inside, the big kids will. But he’s got to be able to play the guy out on the floor,” Calipari said. “That’s a big thing with it. If he can do that, then you can leave him in the game, but if he can’t – and it’s not like they guy’s beating you on the dribble. You just gotta be in a help position and make sure that he’s not getting off threes.”