Humphries Out at Duke

The Duke recruiting class just took a big hit as Minnesota big forward Kris Humphries has asked to be released from his National Letter of Intent, which was signed in the fall. The 6-foot-8, 240 pounder originally picked Duke over Kansas and the hometown Minnesota Golden Gophers in May of last year. However a change of heart has apparently occurred.

Early Monday morning rumors began surfacing on the Internet suggesting that Humphries would in fact ask to be released from his LOI. After repeated phone calls, William Humphries, Kris' father, took a moment to try and dismiss the rumors.

"This kind of thing has happened since he committed to Duke," said the elder Humphries. "It's one particular poster on a Minnesota message board who starts this stuff. We have always been straight with the media and never hide behind anything. Kris going to Minnesota is just a Gopher fantasy, but in reality he is going to Duke."

Despite those claims, more and more rumors began to pop up all over the Internet and within various college basketball circles. Eventually published reports began to cite sources close to the Duke basketball program saying that Humphries had indeed asked for his release.

The reason for the alleged request centered around a number of concerns held by the family including a concern for playing time and length of time before making the transition to the next level. This theory seemed to hold water after numerous reports of the family testing the NBA Draft waters.

Again the Humphries camp said that things were being "blown out of proportion".

``I tried to get insurance and the only way you get a rating from the NBA is to make overtures of going pro," he told Jeff Goodman of in a phone interview. "He was able to get a $1 million policy, which began right before the all-stars games, so that he can play his heart out and not worry about financial security. That was the basis for doing what we did, knowing full-well we wouldn't be submitting his name."

It may have been the best strategy as sources within the NBA scouting community told TDD that while Humphries certainly has an NBA ready body, he needs at least two good seasons at the collegiate level before most NBA teams would consider him a legitimate prospect.

Now that Duke appears to no longer be an option and the NBA doesn't appear to be interested at this time, it seems that Humphries has indeed begun to look at other options. Some of those options reportedly include the University of Indiana and the hometown Minnesota Golden Gophers, which may turn their "fantasy" into a reality.

As a high school senior Humphries averaged 25.5 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, five steals, and 2.5 blocks per contest for the Hopkins Royals. He earned several post-season honors including Mr. Basketball in Minnesota. He was also named to the Parade and McDonalds All American teams.

The loss of Humphries means Duke will be able to apply another scholarship towards the class of 2004. There are no prospects in the class of 2003 that will garner attention from the Duke staff.

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