Tommy Humphries, a 6-foot-4 junior wing from Fridley (MN) Totino-Grace helped lead the Eagles to a state title last month and is hoping that a strong spring and summer with D1 Minnesota will impact his college recruitment.
Humphries averaged 10.4 points per game this season as the Eagles finished 26-6 and won their first ever Class AAA title, defeating DeLaSalle 50-44 in the title game. He averaged 11.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in the three state tournament games.
Humphries averaged 9.8 points as he scored in double figures in 11 of 20 games as a sophomore, including a season-best 16 points versus Centennial.
GopherHole caught up with Humphries Thursday after the practice with D1 Minnesota to learn the latest about winning the state title, his recruitment and upcoming AAU season.
GopherHole: You won the state title 12 days ago. How does it feel now?
Tommy Humphries: It really feels great. I think the best thing about it is talking to all my teammates after and just realizing how we talked during the first week of practice just coming in and how everything goes by so fast. We miss it. Seeing each other in school and we’re like “Dang, I wish we were practicing.” I feel like we earned it.
GopherHole: In the state championship game, you were down by four with four minutes to go. What was the feeling going into that last couple of minutes when you were down?
Tommy Humphries: We’ve been in so many situations in the regular season. Like being in overtime, three-overtimes when three starters fouled out, so we have been in so many situations that we are down four. I’m telling everybody, “Let’s just calm down. We got this. We’re not going to rush. We’re not going to shoot ourselves out of the game. Let’s just do what we do. Let’s go get this win.” That’s what we did.
GopherHole: What’s the reaction been at the school? Totino, back in the day, was known as more of a football school than a basketball school. This is the first title for the school. What was that like?
Tommy Humphries: The energy was so wild, because our girls just won state the week before and so our boys winning it, it is just amazing. Getting all the love from the teachers and alumni coming for years, who used to go to TG said they saw you playing and loved your game. It’s just exciting to see everybody happy around you in the environment and in the classroom. Just a crazy environment right now at TG.
GopherHole: What are you hoping to show this spring and summer to college coaches who are going to be able to watch you this weekend?
Tommy Humphries: The thing we are looking to show the most of all is that we can compete with these teams out of state. We just want to show that we can compete on the circuit and for myself, I just want to show that I can compete at this level and show that we have just as good of players as these out of state teams
GopherHole: Do you think it helps you that you play with really good teammates with your high school team and now you are playing with good teammates on your AAU team rather than if you were the star of a team and you were used to being the man?
Tommy Humphries: I think it definitely helps, because now I am playing with players who can all score 20 in the regular season, while I am playing with the same players in high school who are all-stars, so I think it is the same for me. I tell my coach and I tell my team that I don’t worry about points. I don’t worry about being the guy who scores 20. I just want to win, so let’s do what we can to win. I love this team, because it is an unselfish team. Everybody passes it. Nobody is looking to get their average. We just want to win.
GopherHole: I always feel that in AAU, you want to look good individually, but I always feel that teams that win, if I’m a coach, I want players that win. Is that something that you have noticed, too?
Tommy Humphries: A coach always wants a player to win. You can drop 30, 40, 50, but if you don’t win the game, that’s meaningless. So, let’s go out on the circuit and show that we can win and whoever’s hot that day, you’re hot that day.
GopherHole: What schools are you hearing from right now so far?
Tommy Humphries: Right now, I’m hearing from South Dakota State, North Dakota State, Butler, George Washington and Lehigh.
GopherHole: Any offers yet?
Tommy Humphries: I have an offer from Cal Poly. I talk to them here and there, but some schools have been texting me that they are going to be there since the live period starts this weekend, so it should be fun.
GopherHole: What about the homestate school? You have their shirt on. Are you hearing much from the Gophers as all?
Tommy Humphries: I heard from them a little bit back then. I haven’t really since, but looking forward in the future t hear from them, if that’s possible.
GopherHole: What’s it going to mean to have the opportunity to play Division I basketball?
Tommy Humphries: I think it means a lot to me and it is important to my family, just because no one has ever done that in my family, so being the first would be just an amazing feeling. That is really the goal, Every time that I work out, I think to myself “I’ve got to work out like I’m going to be going Division I. I’ve got to train like it. I’ve got to work for it every day.”
GopherHole: You have two high school teammates, Taison Chatman and Patrick Bath, playing AAU with you. What are the expectations for your role next year as you lose Demarion Watson (Iowa State signee) and Ahjany Lee (St. Thomas signee) ?
Tommy Humphries: I think the expectations are just going to be the same as (head coach) Nick (Carroll) always implies “You guys got to work hard from the start.” I feel like that is something that we didn’t do all season. I feel that we kind of took our talent for granted, but at the end of the season, kind of picked up, so I feel that this season we’ll be going into it knowing that we have to work a little bit harder, because we are losing players and let’s come out hard out of the gate. People want to say that we have a target on our backs, because we are state champs. Well, let’s take that target and just run with it.
GopherHole: What would it mean to maybe hear more from the Gophers? What would that mean to you as a Minnesota kid?
Tommy Humphries: I think that it would mean a lot, just because I’ve always wanted to be that hometown hero type of kid. I actually look up to Braeden Carrington, who has committed there. I used to go to Park Center my middle school years, so went to school with me. He is a great guy and I have talked to Ben (Johnson) a couple of times. He seems like a really good guy, so it would mean a lot to me.