Sam Harrell says the addition of his son to the Louisville basketball team could help the Cardinals win a national championship in 2013.
“Adding him to the scenario, I think they feel like they can win a national title,” Sam Harrell told SNY.tv by phone after his son, 6-foot-8 power forward Montrezl Harrell, committed Sunday to the Cardinals.
Louisville won the Big East Tournament championship and reached the Final Four in 2012 and are now loaded for bear going forward.
Rick Pitino’s club returns Gorgui Dieng, Peyton Siva, Chane Behanan, Russ Smith, Rakeem Buckles, Kevin Ware and Wayne Blackshear and also brings in George Mason transfer Luke Hancock.
Louisville is also in the mix for Virginia Tech transfer Dorian Finney-Smith, who is currently visiting campus
Sam said his son committed because he felt comfortable with Pitino and assistant Kevin Keatts, who coached Montrezl at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy. Had Keatts been in an administrative position instead of on staff, Louisville would not have been allowed to recruit him.
“Just overall we were there for a couple days,” Sam said. “We got to look at the city, their facilities, spent a lot of time with the coaches, Coach Keatts and Coach Pitino. We spent a lot of time with the team. We felt that was the place for him.
“Everything was comfortable and laid back.”
Sam said his son is still developing his offensive game and believes Pitino can help him do that.
“He will bring a lot of energy to the floor,” he said. “He will bring 110 percent to the court. He can get to the rack and rebound.
“Until he gets his offensive game well-rounded Coach Pitino is going to tweak his offensive game a little bit. The offense will come. He’s a guy that will bring a lot of excitement and lot of energy.”
Harrell will get to spend at least a year playing alongside Behanan, a potential Big East Player of the Year and future pro.
“That’s going to be great for him,” Sam said. “He can learn a lot from Chane as well as the rest of the players on the team.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.