Never a dull moment, and a whole summer lies ahead.
The latest, greatest basketball recruit on the University of Louisville’s list is Montrezl Harrell, a 6-foot-8 power forward and a product of the Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va.
Hargrave, which asserts that it is “the premier military boarding school” in marketing materials, is also a Baptist school dedicated to preparing young men for life. It also just happens to be a magnet for good high school basketball players, having sent nine players to the NBA over the years. Larry Brown, probably the most traveled coach in the NBA and college ranks, once coached there.
Harrell is everything Louisville needs in the front court, a powerfully built presence, muscular and aggressive, confident in his abilities, a proven rebounder and shooter. A backup for Chane Behanan, a possible fill-in when Gorgui Dieng gets in foul trouble.
The U of L connection is second-year assistant coach Kevin Keatts, who coached at Hargrave for eight seasons, winning two national prep championships while finishing as national runner-up three times. Harrell was one of his players but chose to sign with Virginia Tech in the 2012 class.
Harrell had a change of heart after VT Coach Seth Greenberg was fired after the season, asked to be released from his letter of intent and started looking around. His list initially included Kentucky but has been narrowed to Louisville, Cincinnati, Florida and Alabama.
He will hook up with Keatts again during an extended four-day official visit to U of L next week. But don’t expect a quick commitment. A week or so later, Harrell will be playing for Billy Donovan as part of the U.S. U18 National Team Training camp June 5-12 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Then there’s the matter of where the scholarship comes from among existing players. Shouldn’t be too difficult sorting through the options.
UofL’s only recruit Terry Rozier is academically borderline, Rakeem Buckles has continuing injuries, as does Stephan Van Treese. Kevin Ware was mysteriously omitted in Rick Pitino’s latest blog. The question seems to be who’s going where.
Pitino has indicated that the scholarship situation has been resolved. But don’t expect it to end here. Getting a commitment from Harrell may be only the beginning of an interesting summer. He’s talking to some other players you know.