Humphries’ decision today

Freshman Kris Humphries will make his future plans public at a news conference.

Adam Fink

It’s been a choice he has wanted to make for more than a decade, and today it is expected to become official when Minnesota’s men’s basketball forward Kris Humphries announces he will leave school for the NBA draft.

The freshman has called a news conference to discuss his future intentions, which aren’t likely to include a return for his second season in maroon and gold.

“He has been waiting to make this decision since the third grade,” Kris’ father, William Humphries, said, without elaborating on the nature of the announcement.

Kris Humphries became the first freshman to lead the Big Ten in both scoring (21.7 points per game) and rebounding (10.1). He was named the conference’s freshman of the year.

He was also named to the All-Big Ten first team. Despite little team success – the Gophers finished 12-18 overall and 3-13 in the conference – he shined statistically.

The offense went through the 6-foot-9-inch post player from Hopkins High School, and he posted 16 double-doubles, despite garnering attention from two or three defenders.

The elder Humphries said his son came to his decision after consulting with a group of peers. William Humphries said Gophers coach Dan Monson was a key consultant for reaching a decision.

“Coach gave him a lot of good advice,” William Humphries said. “The process has led him to this point.” predicts Kris Humphries will be selected with the 18th pick. In February, the Web site had him tabbed to be chosen earlier in the first round.

His expected departure will leave Minnesota thin in the front court next season.

After center Aliou Kane announced last week he will transfer from the school, the Gophers are left with center Jeff Hagen, redshirt freshman Dan Coleman and recruit Spencer Tollackson as their primary low-post threats next season.

Minnesota is also looking to the junior college ranks to find low-post players, which already was a weakness, even with Kris Humphries last season.

Monson has lost two players over the last three years to the NBA draft.

Last season, Rick Rickert left school following his sophomore season and was drafted late in the second round with the 55th pick. He now plays in Europe.

Joel Przybilla left the Gophers in 2000 after he quit the team with six conference games left in his sophomore season. He was an NBA lottery pick, taken ninth in the first round that year.