Harrell is a potential game-changer for the Cardinals. Sure, Louisville returns several key starters from last year's Final Four and is generally picked as one of the preseason Top 5 teams for next season. But the Cardinals lack a talented, physical presence behind Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng. Harrell, who averaged 23 points and 14 rebounds this season, would solve those problems.
Harrell, a strong finisher around the basket, takes anger out on the rim. On the glass, Harrell hunts offensive rebounds, often for thunderous putbacks. Consider Harrell a big time energy guy who runs the floor, finishes the break with authority and plays with relentless ferocity around the rim. He also blocks shots defensively and plays bigger than his size because of a 7'3 wingspan.
In other words, Harrell could make a major frontcourt impact for the Cardinals. If he opts for Louisville, Harrell would likely play big minutes next season, providing Rick Pitino's team a physical inside presence off the bench - something they didn't have last season. With Harrell, Dieng, Behanan and small forward Wayne Blackshear, Louisville's frontcourt might be the best in the country. For my money, it would be - hands down.
Louisville appears a perfect situation for Harrell, who is looking for substantial early playing time. Harrell would likely receive major minutes as a freshman and could take over as the starting power forward as a sophomore, assuming Behanan has a great season and leaves early for the NBA. While he adjusts to major college basketball playing on an NCAA title contending team, Harrell would be taught by a future Hall of Fame coach, while practicing daily against Behanan, one of the nation's best power forwards. What's not to like about that situation from Harrell's perspective, especially this late in the game?
There still is one major issue that has to be ironed out if Harrell picks the Cardinals - Rick Pitino might have to do some roster shuffling to make room for Scout.com No 72 rated prospect. Terry Rozier, Louisville's only 2012 signee, is still trying to qualify to play as a freshman. If he doesn't make it, Harrell could take his scholarship next season. However, if Rozier qualifies, Pitino would have to move someone on the current roster off scholarship to stay under the 13-player limit. Who? Those are questions best answered by head coaches.