As they’ve become a powerhouse in the college basketball ranks, Louisville will undoubtedly be one of the teams in the picture for the 2015 National Championship. However, a run to a title next season would be a lot easier if forward Montrezl Harrell would return for his junior season and not enter the 2014 NBA Draft.
According to a report from Jeffrey Greer of The Courier-Journal, Cardinals fans shouldn’t be holding out for the return of Harrell and NBA teams should be getting ready to see if he’s a guy that they could use on their team if he’s available when they make their selections in the draft. Though Harrell still hasn’t made his decision on whether he’ll leave, all signs point to him being gone.
As a major factor in Louisville’s run to the Elite Eight, Harrell played fantastically this season. In 29.3 minutes per game, the forward put up 14 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.3 blocks and one steal per contest while shooting 60.9 percent from the floor. He plays with an unbelievable amount of energy and is an absolute bull in the post and on the glass.
Recently, I likened Harrell’s draft-prospects and NBA potential to that of Kenneth Faried. Both guys are explosive, hustle-fueled, and extremely athletic physical specimens while also being a tad undersized at the power forward position. However, Faried has shown that type of player can have success at the pro-level.
Harrell certainly isn’t a lottery pick, but for a mid-tier team right outside of the lottery that needs a post player who can bring energy and rebounding off of the bench, there’s no one in this draft class that brings that like Harrell. We’re still awaiting his official decision, but Harrell is clearly ready to go the NBA no matter what his plans are.