Former Virginia Tech signee Montrezl Harrell finally received his release from the Hokies on Thursday, meaning he's eligible to sign with a new school and begin his college career this fall.
According to Harrell's father, the four-star recruit is currently looking at five schools: Louisville, Kentucky, Florida, NC State and Alabama.
The first issue that needs to be addressed here is this: U of L could really use Harrell. He's a skilled power forward with a Big East-ready body who could be a reliable backup to Chane Behanan at the four. His addition would also allow Angel Nunez to shift over to the three, a spot which seems like his natural position.
But then there's the whole, "oh yeah, we don't have any available scholarships" deal.
Louisville is interested in Harrell, and if he decides that he wants to become a Cardinal, my understanding is that he won't be turned away. This leaves us with two possibilities as to how Harrell could end up donning the red and black on scholarship.
1) Terry Rozier fails to qualify. This is the cleanest route, but it also seems improbable given that the status of Rozier - who will be taking summer courses in an attempt to become eligible - likely won't be known until a few weeks before the start of the fall semester. Harrell's decision will almost surely come well before Rozier's status is known with any degree certainty.
2) A scholarship player gives up his free ride or chooses to transfer. The only player with whom there's been any speculation in this regard is Rakeem Buckles, who is sitting out next season to repair his torn ACL. Multiple people have pitched the idea of Buckles, a Miami native, following Richard Pitino to Florida International. As far as I know, this is a scenario without any actual substance.
Of course this is all meaningless if Harrell picks another school, but I do think it is intriguing that U of L is pursuing him given its scholarship situation. Certainly something worthy of keeping an eye on.