Jun 6, 2014
Nov 2, 2013
NBA Comparison: JJ Hickson/Bo Outlaw
Strengths: Montrezl Harrell established himself as a true dunk machine during his tenure at Louisville, and an absolute monster around the rim … His 7’3” wingspan, strength and ferocious attitude allow him to wreak havoc on the glass at the NCAA level … His 3.2 offensive rebounds per game, and 9.2 total rebounds are both very good numbers for a power forward, and despite being around 6’7.5”, he has a reported 8’11” standing reach, which is adequate for his position in the NBA … His 43 put backs are a great example of how active he is around the rim … Harrell is also a quick leaper, and looks to have a frame that will allow him to add more muscle without slowing him down too much … He’s also a solid weak side shot blocker, and can hold his ground when being posted up, although he probably won’t be much of a one on one shot blocking threat once he hits the NBA … He has shown great improvement in his mid-range game since his freshman year … Although not a great shooter yet, he went from a 24.4% shooter on two point jumpers in 12-13, to a 36.8% shooter on two point jumpers in 13-14, and maintained that clip his junior year … His range is really in that 10 foot spot, but this development does show some signs of potential as a pick and pop player, while already possessing the qualities of a solid roll man … Harrell has also become a smarter player in his stint at Louisville … He now has pretty good vision in the high post, passes well out of double teams, and his feel for the game is much better than it was during his freshman campaign … Extremely vocal, loves to express himself on the floor and does so in a high energy fashion …
Weaknesses: Montrezl is a power forward through and through, but his height leaves a little to be desired, and he has even explored the idea of becoming a SF while at Louisville … His wingspan and toughness does a lot to make this less of an issue, but his standing reach is still in a solid range for an NBA power forward … It’s safe to say, despite his physicality, many NBA big men will have no trouble shooting over him or posting him up in one on one situations … It’s unclear what kind of offensive game Harrell will have at the NBA level … His emerging jumper is a nice sign, but it’s still not really a selling point, at least, not yet … A poor free throw shooter, he hit just 59.7% of his shots at the charity stripe in 2014-15, and it was a career high … A likely garbage man on offense, despite the fact he hit a few 3 pointers as a junior, it’s not a shot you want him to take … He’s still better off doing what he can do around the rim, rather than trying to prove to NBA teams he can be a perimeter offensive threat as a rookie … Embracing his game, and what he does best will be key in his rookie season, and beyond.
Overall: There are plenty of NBA players who have made a living cleaning up the glass, being active around the rim, and playing a hard working brand of basketball … Montrezl Harrell seems to fit that mold when looking at his role in the NBA … He’s a record setting NCAA dunker, and is coming off his best collegiate season, but I think his mid-range game is the key to improving his NBA future … Everybody knows what he can do around the rim, but continued growth facing up at that 10 foot range will definitely help Harrell … All in all, he’s a defined role player and with limited potential because of his size, but could very will find a niche and have a long career doing what he does best.
Notes: Measured 6.6.5” in shoes, with a 7’3” wingspan and 242 lbs while playing for USA’s U19 Gold Medal Team in 2013. All-ACC 2nd Team in 2014-15
David Ray 4/25/15
Strengths: Long, athletic prospect with great leaping abilities … Huge wingspan (7’4") helps make him a very disruptive defensive presence. Gets his share of blocks and steals … Above-the-rim athlete who uses his tremendous vertical and explosiveness to get numerous "garbage" buckets off of put-backs and easy dunks … High-motor big man who is constantly battling for rebounds and bringing energy and relentlessness to the court … Surprisingly decent mid-range jumper … Runs the floor very well … Very efficient player. Shot 58% last season … Face-up 4 who has a quick first step and can take his man off the dribble … At age 19, still has plenty of time to develop and fine-tune his skill set…As a valuable bench player on last year’s national champion Louisville team, Harrell proved he can play within his role and not try to do too much…
Weaknesses: Still very raw as a basketball player … Doesn’t have much of a post game at all … Appears somewhat mechanical with the ball in his hands offensively … Not a great defensive rebounder (2.2 DRPG). Needs to work on his technique instead of relying solely on athleticism … Has a great wingspan, but is still slightly undersized for a power forward at 6’8 … Footwork is rough … Poor free throw shooter (51%) … Can be overly aggressive at times, particularly on defense … Really needs to diversify his offensive game beyond around-the-rim plays if he wants to be more than a one-dimensional role player at the next level …
Overall: Harrell has excellent potential with his wingspan and his explosiveness, in addition to his developing face-up game and fluidity. If he can improve his basketball skills and become a better rebounder and post-up scorer, he could develop into a productive power forward in the NBA.
Jacob Stallard 7/23/13