Louisville's Montrezl Harrell (24) reacts with Russ Smith (2) during the first half of an NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game against the Kentucky Friday, March 28, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Michael Conroy

Louisville's Montrezl Harrell (24) reacts with Russ Smith (2) during the first half of an NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game against the Kentucky Friday, March 28, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Harrell to stay at Louisville

By Jessie H. Nunery

Sports Editor

0 Comments | Leave a Comment

Tarboro native Montrezl Harrell will wait at least another season to pursue the NBA.

Harrell, a 6-foot-8 forward at Louisville, announced that he will return to campus next fall for his junior year.

Harrell, who came off the bench a year ago during Louisville’s national championship run, emerged as one of the Cardinals’ better and more exciting players this season.

He averaged 14 points and 8.4 rebounds as the Cardinals won the America East Conference regular season and tournament titles.

The sophomore, who confirmed his decision on Twitter, set Louisville’s single-season record for dunks and became one of the more popular players on the team with his outward emotion and rim-rattling slams.

Harrell played at North Edgecombe through his junior year before transferring to Hargrave Military Academy.

Once a Virginia Tech commit, Harrell was released from his letter of intent after a coaching change and chose Louisville among other big-time schools.

He was projected to be a possibly lottery pick in June’s NBA Draft, but a return next season seemingly would improve his stock even more.

With a year to work on his free-throw shooting (46 percent) and expand his offensive game away from the basket – both are considered as weaknesses on the majority of his scouting reports – Harrell, an All-American candidate, might be among the top 10 picks at this time next year.

College Football