Montrezl Harrell was a monster starting forward in his first college basketball outing, putting on quite an exhibition in the University of Louisville’s 93-57 exhibition basketball win over Pikeville.
If that’s the way Harrell plays all the time, it could be difficult for anyone to dislodge him from the lineup. His final stats included nine of 11 field goal attempts, 19 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and a steal.
If there were any freshman mistakes, Harrell disguised them well on both ends of the court during his 25 minutes. Adjusting quickly to the bright lights of the KFC Yum! Center, he served notice that he intends to be a major contributor from the start.
Going to be interesting to see how Chane Behanan, the MVP of last season’s NCAA West Regional, responds to the challenge, given Behanan’s celebratory summer months spent elsewhere than in the gym. CB taking note of Harrell’s debut from the benched position during the exhibition.
If the game is any indication, Harrell already plays with high levels of confidence and fluidity that few newcomers have displayed in many seasons at UofL.
Rick Pitino has expressed confidence that Behanan will be back to his old self in a matter of weeks. Whether that former player will be able to replace Harrell will be a topic of considerable debate.
Pitino has sometimes appeared to give preference to veteran players, but he has always been unpredictable as well. The only thing certain is that Behanan has lots of work ahead of him.