University of Louisville sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell has been named a tri-captain for the Cardinals’ 2013-14 men’s basketball team, joining seniors Russ Smith and Luke Hancock with that distinction.
“He has, without question, been the best worker on the court, the most vocal leader on the court, so without question, he has ignited our team in practice to work harder,” head coach Rick Pitino said Monday. “I thought he’d be a very good captain.”
A third-team preseason All-America selection by The Sporting News and a second-team choice by USA Today, Harrell was listed third in CBSSports.com’s Top 30 Breakout Players. He was a second-team all-American Athletic Conference selection by the league coaches.
Harrell played all 40 games in helping Louisville achieve its third NCAA title in April. During the Cardinals’ nine postseason games, Harrell averaged 6.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game. Notably, he shot 61.5 percent from the field. In the team’s BIG EAST title victory over Syracuse, Harrell scored a season-high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds in just 24 minutes of action.
“He leads every which way,” Pitino added. “He’s a tough guy. He brings it every play and there’s very few individuals like that, in our game today, where they try to impact every possession.”
Harrell also had success in international competition over the summer, earning a gold medal with his USA Basketball squad in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic. In the gold medal victory over Serbia, Harrell totaled a team-high 17 points, four rebounds, four blocked shots and hit 8-of-16 field goals in 28 minutes. In nine games during the event, Harrell started every game and averaged 10.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, hit 42-of-73 field goals (.575) and added eight steals and 10 blocked shots while averaging 18 minutes a game for the deep USA squad, coached by Florida’s Billy Donovan.