A who's who of college basketball coaching was scheduled to be in La Porte, Ind., one night last winter to watch Isaac Humphries play.
"There was Duke, Kansas," Humphries said. "All these big schools were supposed to come."
Then it began snowing and continued snowing. Coaches canceled recruiting trips to this town near the Indiana-Michigan border ... with one exception. Kentucky Coach John Calipari came to the game.
"I was told he was the only one with a plane big enough to land," Humphries recalled with a smile. "At that point, it became obvious that he was kind of serious about me. And it did have a subconscious effect on me. ... I think in my head I definitely thought he has the time for people. And he kind of just gets stuff done in the end. Just all-around special."
Never miss a local story.
Humphries, a native of Sydney, Australia, had come to La Porte in 2014 to play for the La Lumiere School. He was in the class of 2016. When he decided to reclassify and enter college this year, Calipari's interest increased. The UK coach saw in Humphries a 7-foot Plan B for this season's Kentucky front line.
"God forbid if Alex (Poythress) doesn't come back like he needs to, we didn't have enough (big) guys," Calipari said.
One of UK's heralded freshmen, guard Jamal Murray, had played against Humphries in the FIBA U17 World Championships. Humphries scored 41 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in a victory over Murray and Canada.
"Jamal told me what he was," Calipari said. "Makes 15-footers. He'll make his free throws. Anything around the goal, like 5-footers, he makes. And if he shoots it, you're thinking it's going in."
What? No high-flying dunks?
"Sometimes we forget we're playing basketball," Calipari said. "That's what we're playing."
In describing his playing style, Humphries made himself sound like a traditional big man. He's content in the shadow of the rim.
"A lot of my stuff happens inside the key and in the paint," he said. "I like to bang and I like to go be rough. I'm very fundamental."
The comparison currently en vogue likens Humphries to Josh Harrellson. Calipari subscribes.
"He's Josh Harrellson," the UK coach said. "He's a 7-footer who is skilled. Same type body. Only bigger than Josh."
With that, Calipari quickly volunteered a clarification.
"I'm not talking the Josh Harrellson of my first year," he said. "I'm talking the Josh Harrellson of my second year."
Of course, Harrellson made little impact in the 2009-10 season. Then, after drawing Calipari's ire in the preseason with an indiscreet tweet, Harrellson blossomed in 2010-11 and anchored a Final Four run.
For Humphries, the comparisons to Harrellson are a mystery.
"I've heard the references," he said. "But I've never really seen any clips of him playing. ... When I get a chance, I'm going to look him up and see what everyone's going on about."
As those attuned to recruiting know, Humphries cannot be a one-and-done player for Kentucky. Because his birthday is in January, he is ineligible for the 2016 NBA Draft. After moving from Australia to Indiana last year and then on to Kentucky this year, he welcomes a delay in turning pro.
"I think that's good for me because I'm situated somewhere for two years as opposed to moving around all the time," he said. "I'll be able to get used to this place and really learn a lot more than I would in one year.
"Who knows? I may not have been good enough (for the NBA) in one year. So, now, I know I'll be here."