While much of this season's success rested on the shoulders of Russ Smith, there's no doubt that the emergence of Montrezl Harrell as a dominant post player was vital to Louisville winning the American Athletic Conference regular season and conference championships. Today, Louisville learned it will not be losing that dominant post player to the NBA Draft.
Harrell, considered a mid-first round pick by most draft analysts opted to return for his junion season, the school announced today. His departure, along with the losses of Luke Hancock, Russ Smith, and Stephen Van Treese, would've left Louisville awfully green in the front court as the team prepares to enter the Atlantic Coast Conference.
With Harrell returning, Louisville can focus on getting Mangok Mathiang ready to play the majority of minutes at center. It will also give Rick Pitino the luxury of bringing the four frontcourt players he signed for the coming season as slowly as he'd like.