Lucky Thirteen

What's it like growing up in a household split between Arizona and Arizona State? How about being the starting quarterback and a high-major big man prospect on the hardwood at the same time? Michael Humphrey knows, and he talks with BearTerritory about all of that and more.

On Thursday, 6-foot-9, 205-pound three-star center Michael Humphrey -- one of the hottest names during the July evaluation period – narrowed his list down to a final 13 schools – all of which have offered.

In no order, Humphrey named Arizona State, Columbia, Grand Canyon, Indiana, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, California, Louisville, Notre Dame, Oregon, Virginia and Vanderbilt.

Humphrey said he wants to try and visit as many of those schools as he can, either officially or unofficially, but he acknowledges that trimming his list down to 13 isn't really much of a trim.

"I think I'm probably going to have to narrow down the list again, and I'm not sure too on the dates or even what schools, yet," he said.

Of course, with Bears head coach Mike Montgomery's propensity for producing big men, Cal – which offered at the end of the July evaluation period -- sticks out.

"It's got that combination of academics and athletics," Humphrey told BearTerritory on Thursday afternoon. "It's a great place. Really, all the schools that I'm interested in are good places with good academics and a strong basketball program. That's the biggest thing.

"I guess I know a little bit, but not too much [about Cal]. I've kind of watched the program over the past years and it just seems like a great place. I'm looking forward to developing a relationship with the coaches."

Little Grand Canyon University seems to be the one outlier on the list, but the new WAC member is close to Humphrey's Phoenix, Ariz., home.

"I went over there on an unofficial the other day, and really enjoyed it," Humphrey said. "On Monday, I went to U of A and ASU and then went there, and I enjoyed all three of them. They all seem like great places ... Really, I don't think distance is a problem. If those schools were anywhere, I'd still be interested. I just think [GCU] is definitely on the rise and has some good backing, so I just think it's a great program."

Humphrey's parents may have something to say about that, as his father is a Sun Devil and his mother a Wildcat.

"I've grown up watching the Pac-12," Humphrey said. "I've seen Cal enough to know that it's a great school."

Mom and Dad aren't pushing either of their alma maters on Humphrey, who's seen plenty of split couches when the two Territorial Cup rivals go at it every football and basketball season.

"I do have a split household, and that makes it a little tough," Humphrey laughed. "They're really supportive, so it works out, except for those days. Other than that, it's perfect."

Cal saw Humphrey at the Reebok Breakout Camp – where he, appropriately enough, broke out in a bit way -- in early July, as did plenty of other programs who immediately jumped on the rangey big man.

"I think maybe on the offensive end, I did a lot of work on the outside part of the game, with my jump shot and dribbling, and I've always played hard and played good defense," Humphrey said of his rise up the recruiting boards. "I feel like I've played the post a lot, and I needed to develop my outside game, and I continue to develop my all-around game. I think that was my biggest part.

"I thought I had a great all-around camp there. Offensively, I think I played well inside and out, and on defense, as well. I felt like I was really giving 100-percent effort the entire time."

Reebok was really the first time Humphrey was able to play all-out, after he broke his left (non-throwing) thumb while doing agility drills for football, where he slipped on a muddy field and tried to break his fall, only to snap his thumb. Oh, yeah, almost forgot: He's the starting quarterback for Phoenix (Ariz.) Sunnyslope, who threw for over 1,200 yards.

"Basketball is obviously what I want to do in college, but I think that you only get to play high school football once, and I'm really into it," Humphrey rationalizes. "Football really helps out with basketball. The footwork translates over, the conditioning, the physical play – it's fun to play both, and it will help out in the long run."

Given his natural hook shot, those Tim Tebow jump passes over the line wouldn't seem to be much of a problem for Humphrey, but then again, at 6-foot-9, he doesn't really have to jump much; nor do college coaches want him doing anything of the sort, though even with a bum thumb, he was still able to effectively use both hands around the basket.

"I had some good running plays, but basketball coaches like me more to be a drop-back guy," Humphrey laughed. "I can run around a little bit, though. They're trying to tell me to slide as much as possible."

Humphrey's primary recruiter from Cal -- John Montgomery -- has spoken with Humphrey more often over the last few days, Humphrey said, and told him just what the Bears like about his game.

"One of the biggest things he always says is, ‘Continue to improve,' but I think they like my play on the offensive side, that I can play both inside and out," Humphrey said. "They like on defense how I always go 100 percent and how I never take a play off."

Humphrey carries a 3.9 unweighted (4.5 weighted) GPA, and academics are certain to play a big role in his decision, especially with the Bears, Cardinal and Lions on the list.

"I think it's definitely an important factor," Humphrey said. "At some point, basketball has to end, and going to a school like that is really important, so I think academics are really a big part of the decision."

BearTerritory.net Top Stories