Humphries talks about his decision

Six-foot-9 forward Kris Humphries of Minnetonka (Minn.) Hopkins recently announced that he would play for the Gophers next season. I spoke with the McDonald's All-American to find out the latest on his decision to pick Minnesota over Indiana and Iowa State after receiving a release from his letter of intent from Duke.

Kris Humphries is College Basketball News' choice for Minnesota Player of the Year and was named the Metro Player of the Year by the Minneapolis Star Tribune for the second straight year. He also was one of the Naismith's final ten high school players and was a Parade McDonald's All-American.

He averaged 25 points and 14 rebounds per game this season for the Royals, which finished third in Class AAAA after winning the state title in 2002.


Humphries played in the McDonald's All-American Game and Jordan Brand Capitol Classic.

The typical penalty for reneging on a national letter of intent is two years of eligibility. However, since Duke did release Humphries, he loses only one year if he attends a different school. Humphries can regain the year by appealing to the national letter-of-intent steering committee, which has already happened.

William Humphries, Kris' father, feels that his son will be able to play next season and told me that a decision could come as early as this Friday. William told me that Duke even sent in a letter in Kris' behalf to help him become eligible this season.


Kris said that his "support system" was the biggest factor in choosing Minnesota over Indiana and Iowa State. His mother, a former rower, and father, an offensive lineman, both attended Minnesota. William will become the president of the University of Minnesota "M" Club next June.

Kris works out with former NBA guards Chris Carr and Trent Tucker. Carr played for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Tucker is an ex-Gopher.


William said that an increased level of understanding between Kris and himself and head coach Dan Monson was another big factor in Kris choosing the Gophers.


Humphries, who was nicknamed "Hercules" by fellow Nike All-American campers, has been practicing Pilates and yoga and is currently up to 240 pounds. He has bench pressed 315 pounds and can bench 265 pounds four times. He recently spent a week at the IMG Academy in Florida and hopes to return later this summer to work with their trainers.

Humphries graduated from Hopkins High and took some post-secondary classes at Normandale Community College. His father said that he has already completed nine credits, giving him a head start at the University of Minnesota.


Kris visited Indiana and Iowa State and liked both schools.


"They were all similar schools, but it came down to my support system here. It is exciting to be around them, to be able to play at home. I decided that Minnesota was the place for me"


He was not concerned about finding playing time at any of the schools, knowing that his talent and work ethic would allow him to earn playing time as a freshman.


"Regardless of where I went, I've established that I'm the type of player who is going to be able to play."


Humphries said that he will continue to work out with Carr and Tucker this summer and might play in some summer league games. He might play for the same summer league team as ex-Gopher Randy Carter, who Humphries has worked out against.


"I might play a couple of games (in the Howard Pulley summer league). A few people have asked me to play."


Humphries admits that it is good to have the decision behind him.


"Yes. It is nice, so I can move on and get my body ready. It's a lot of pressure off my back."


Humphries has several goals for his new team.


"Getting to the NCAA tournament is my goal. I want to win a Big Ten title."


There is plenty of talk of how long Humphries will play for the Gophers before possibly declaring for the NBA Draft. However, most Gophers fans would be happy to see him turn pro, if it means their favorite team gets a Big Ten crown and NCAA Tournament appearance with him at Minnesota.  


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