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April 14, 2014

Montrezl Harrell says he wants to come back



Louisville sophomore Montrezl Harrell just posted a message on his Twitter account indicating his intention to return for his junior season.




Harrell, who was Louisville's top post player this season, will be one of the top players in college basketball next season.

"(It's) been on my mind heavy, but I love the feeling of being a Louisville Cardinal," Harrell posted, "And I will be wearing this (Louisville uniform) for the next yr."

At his post-season press conference, UofL coach Rick Pitino said he didn't know which way Montrezl would go, but that he would advise him to return to school if he was not guaranteed to be a top 20 pick.

"My advice to Montrezl is just relax, enjoy the two years you had here, sit back and see what happens," Pitino said on March 31. "The most important thing is if he slips into the 20s, he's gonna be drafted by a good team. If you're drafted by a good team, you don't play that much. If you don't play that much, you don't get any statistical things, obviously, to improve your next contract, and that's a short version of what I said to him.

"Now, if he is drafted 10 to 16-17, then obviously it's something he'll consider strongly. But if you go into the latter part of the draft and you've got to sit behind somebody, you're better off coming back and trying to be a top 6-7 draft in the next draft."

Harrell returning to Louisville obviously boosts the Cardinals chances of making another deep tournament run next season. Louisville went to back-to-back Final Fours in 2012 and 2013, winning the 2013 NCAA title. Pitino said he tried to lay out the options clearly for Montrezl, but tried to stay away from pressuring him one way or the other.

"I don't influence my players in this area; I don't tell them what agents to pick," Pitino said. "The only thing I try to get involved in their lives is give them the information, make sure they save their money, let them make whatever decision they're going to make. I never tell a player what to do, because it's their life and I wouldn't want somebody telling me what to do."

Harrell averaged 14.0 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while demolishing the all-time dunks record in a season.


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