Pitino comments on Harrell signing

Forward Montrezl Harrell Signs With UofL Basketball

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Montrezl Harrell, a 6-7, 225-pound forward from Tarboro, N.C. who played last season at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., has signed a financial aid agreement to continue his basketball playing career at the University of Louisville.

Harrell averaged 25.2 points, 13.6 rebounds and three blocks last season for Hargrave, which posted a 38-1 record and finished as the national prep runner-up.  Hargrave fell 87-76 to Brewster Academy in the national prep championship in its only loss of the season.  Harrell is rated by Scout.com as the No. 72 overall prospect in the class of 2012, is listed No. 89 in the ESPNU Top 100 and is rated 82nd nationally by Rivals.com.

"We are really excited to have Montrezl part of the Cardinal program," said UofL Men's Basketball Coach Rick Pitino.  "He's an explosive athlete, runs the floor extremely well and plays every second as if it's his last.  He brings exactly what we need in an extremely physical front line player to make us one of the better rebounding/blocked shots frontcourts in the nation.

In one of his top efforts in prep school, Harrell totaled 51 points, 18 dunks, 17 rebounds and six blocks in a 122-119 overtime victory over Fishburne Military School.  He averaged 16.2 points, 12 rebounds and 6.7 blocked shots as a senior in 2010-11 while leading North Edgecombe High School in Tarboro, N.C. to a 21-3 record and the Tar Roanoke Conference Championship. Harrell, who has a seven-foot, six-inch wingspan, was the conference tournament MVP.  He shattered a backboard in practice during his senior year in high school.

He was named the MVP of two post-season all-star games in April.  He scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the U.S. All-Stars over the Capital All-Stars 105-93 in the Capital Classic in Alexandria, Va. on April 21.  He produced 22 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots -- including a swat in the closing seconds to preserve the victory -- to lead the East team to a 84-82 win in a Jordan Brand Classic regional game in Charlotte, N.C. on April 14.

Harrell is among 23 of the nation's top 18-year-old and younger players who will participate in the 2012 USA Basketball Men's U18 National Team Training Camp starting June 5 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.  The 12-man team, which will be coached by Florida's Billy Donovan, will be selected prior to the team's June 12 departure for the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship.

Harrell, who originally signed a national letter-of-intent with Virginia Tech, chose to attend UofL after receiving offers from Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Cincinnati and South Carolina.  He will wear number 24 with the Cardinals.

Official release from U of L sports information