Louisville sophomore Montrezl Harrell has decided against entering this year’s draft, he’s announced via Twitter (hat tip to Chris Mannix of SI.com). His decision counters an earlier report that he would declare for this year’s field, and it comes as a surprise, given his solid first-round stock. The big man is the 15th-ranked prospect with Chad Ford of ESPN.com, and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him 20th.
Harrell averaged 14.0 points and 8.4 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game this season for Louisville, which lost in the NCAA Tournament sweet sixteen to Kentucky. He stepped into a starting role this year after serving mostly as a reserve last season when the Cardinals won the national championship. He’ll look to improve his free throw shooting as a junior after making just 46.4% of his shots from the line this year.
The news is no doubt a disappointment to teams projected to end up with a mid first-round pick, particularly those looking for an inside player. The 6’8″ Harrell is somewhat undersized at power forward, but it hasn’t hurt his production on the boards in college.