Earlier today, Montrezl Harrell made the announcement that he would be returning to Louisville for his junior year. He will be a Naismith Trophy dark horse.
Been on my mind heavy but I love the feeling of being a Louisville cardinal an I will be wearing this for the next yr pic.twitter.com/xuOGr4nsc3
— Montrezl Harrell (@MONSTATREZZ) April 14, 2014
Was Harrell the best player on the team this season? No, that would be Russ Smith. But, Harrell improved greatly and he was a mismatch nightmare thanks to his size. Harrell stands at 6-foot-8 and weighs 235 pounds. He already has an NBA body and would have been drafted if he decided to go pro.
Harrell averaged 14 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game this past season. He only averaged 5.7 points per game in his freshman season, so you can definitely say that he improved; however, his playing time also went up quite a bit.
There are going to be many great players in college basketball next season. That is the case every year. But, Harrell plays for a school that gets a lot of national attention and he should score more with Russ Smith out of the picture. With that said, Smith is a big loss.
If Harrell has a great season, leads the team in scoring and if Louisville is in the national spotlight, there is a chance that Harrell takes home the Naismith next year. Is he one of the favorites to win it right now? Probably not, but I am expecting a huge year out of Harrell.
Although saying he will win the Naismith may be pretty bold, you never know.
Regardless, Harrell returning for his junior year is big news for the Cardinals.