MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota forward Kris Humphries, who became
the sixth player in history to lead the Big Ten in both scoring and
rebounding, was named the conference's Freshman of the Year on
Humphries, also a first team All-Big Ten selection by the
coaches and the media, averaged 21.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per
conference game. Purdue's Glenn Robinson, in 1994, was the last
player to lead the Big Ten in both categories.
"It's definitely an honor to be in that company," Humphries
said Tuesday before practice.
Humphries also is the second Gophers player in three seasons to
win the rookie award. Rick Rickert did so in 2002.
The Gophers (11-17, 3-13 Big Ten) tied for 10th place by beating
Penn State last weekend. They'll face Purdue in this week's Big Ten
Tournament in Indianapolis.
Asked if it was hard for him to accept the award with his team
struggling, Humphries said: "It's hard because you'd rather have
the team have success, but I've worked hard. This is almost like a
team award, because it's a team game. If I was out there and no
one's passing me the ball, I couldn't do what I've done."
Thursday's game against the Boilermakers could be Humphries'
last as a Gopher. Speculation is swirling that he'll turn pro. At
last Saturday's home finale, several fans chanted "One more
year!" when Humphries shot free throws.
"I came out after and signed some autographs. Even little kids
that can't even tie their shoes and can barely talk were like, 'Are
you coming back?"'
Humphries joined Wisconsin's Devin Harris, Michigan State's Paul
Davis, Deron Williams of Illinois and Jitim Young of Northwestern
on the coaches' and media's first team.
Besides Humphries, the All-Freshman Team included Dion Harris
and Courtney Sims of Michigan, Shannon Brown of Michigan State and
Marlon Smith of Penn State.