One-on-One With Lee Humphrey

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital
By Brad G. Faye,
Posted: June 19, 2007

The balancing of age and experience is never simple at the NBA level. Because of that, Florida’s Lee Humphrey has been quite the commodity throughout this year’s pre-draft workouts.

After helping the Gators to back-to-back NCAA Championships, Humphrey is taking his game to the professional level after finishing his senior season at Florida. It was quite a remarkable campaign for the 6-2 guard who definitely learned how to play on a grander stage throughout his tenure.

But while his ability to stay calm and cool helped him succeed at the college level, it could be his ability to shoot the basketball which helps him succeed at the professional one. Humphrey at times has been lights out on the hardwood, most recently this past season during a victory over South Carolina. The Gator scored 27 points against the Gamecocks, including 7-of-8 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. For the season, the young Tennessee native connected from long distance a total of 113 times – matching the school record he had set the previous season.

On Tuesday, Humphrey was one of four NBA hopefuls who had the opportunity to workout for the Phoenix Suns. Following a little bit of running and gunning, the guard talked with members of the Phoenix media about the workout process and the difficulty compared to playing in an NCAA Championship Game.

Question: Can you talk about getting the chance to workout for this Phoenix Suns team here today?

Lee Humphrey: The Suns are a great organization with a great tradition so it was exciting having the chance to work out for them.

Question: How many workouts does this make for you so far?

Humphrey: This is my fourth workout. I’ve been with the Wizards, Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets. I’ve got two more lined up and possibly a third. I’ve done a little bit of traveling but not as much as some of these other guys.

Question: How does this one compare to the others you’ve attended?

Humphrey: They’re all really similar. Today there was a lot of competing which was fun. I felt like we did more two-on-two games than I’ve done in some other workouts but I like getting the opportunity to go out there and compete.

Question: Playing for Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan, do you see any similarities between his offense and the one here under Mike D’Antoni?

Humphrey: I think Florida definitely had some similarities. I don’t know if we got up and down quite as much as the Suns, but I don’t think anybody does. But Coach Donovan let us shoot a lot of threes down there and we got out in transition when given the chance which definitely prepared us for the NBA.

Question: Which system at the NBA level do you feel you would be most comfortable with?

Humphrey: I would say the Suns, they get out and run which is great for shooters. That was probably my strength in college was shooting and anytime you can get out in transition you can get some open looks.

Question: Having played in some big games while at Florida, can you compare playing in the Final Four to working out here today in terms of pressure?

Humphrey: It’s a whole different atmosphere. When you’re in the NCAA Tournament, you’re in front of 50,000 people and everybody kind of blends in as a group because you’re so focused on the game you don’t realize what’s going on. Here there are maybe 10-15 people in the gym and it’s more like a practice feeling.

Question: With the added intensity of general managers and coaches watching you…

Humphrey: (Laughing) Right, right, with the addition of trying to impress people.

Question: Do you feel in some ways, however, success at the college level helped you get where you are today?

Humphrey: Our team’s success has been huge for me. I’d say if we didn’t win those past two championships or didn’t at least make a run, I wouldn’t have been noticed as much as I have. My teammates were huge just in allowing me to get shots. I owe a lot to my teammates.