The Year of the Dunk: Montrezl Harrell returns to UofL

04/15/2014 07:29 AM

If Montrezl Harrell declared for the 2014 NBA draft, he would have been a first round pick. But instead, he chose to wear UofL red for at least one more season.

“After the season I did so many pro-con lists, it’s not even funny,” Harrell said. “I just feel like this decision is right. I feel like I picked the best decision for me. I feel like everything is going to work out for the best. The next step for me is to go up.”

Up. That’s the direction fans have come to expect from Harrell. Last season, Montrezl was the master of dunks. Not counting exhibition games, he slammed the ball 98 times, just shy of 100.

“Two. I know. I feel like I can get [100 dunks] next year, especially with no one in the way next year.”

Harrell recorded 137 career dunks, just 19 short of breaking Darrell Griffith’s all-time dunk record. He’s got his eye on the record, and luckily for Montrezl, the best lob thrower is returning to UofL as well.

“Hands down, Terry. I’d say he throws the best lobs,” Harrell said. “In the AAC championship, the one he threw to me when we played Houston, I’d say that was one of the best lobs I had since I’ve been here.”

Before Harrell blew up Twitter with his announcement that he’s staying in the ‘Ville, a video of every Montrezl dunk in the 2013-14 season was posted here. Harrell admitted he watched the video and even surprised himself.

“We played Memphis when Russ threw the ball to me and I had to turn almost 360 in the air to catch that one. That I have to say is one of the best dunks, because I forget I caught that,” Harrell said. “I had to rewind it a couple times and make sure that that was really me.”

Next year for the Cards, Harrell will be joined in the paint by rising sophomores Mangok Mathiang and Akoy Agau as well as incoming freshmen Matz Stockman and Chinanu Onuaku. They will learn quickly, just as Harrell did when he was a freshman.

“That first week and a half, Chane [Behanan] kicked my butt. Flat out, he just beat me to every offensive rebound, every defensive rebound,” Harrell said. “It comes to a point where you get tired of it. You just go to work from there. I feel like with me having that competitive edge, those guys will follow behind me.”

With Harrell’s return, the Louisville basketball team got a huge boost to their veteran leadership. And Cards fans get another year of explosive dunks.

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