This is a strange change to make at this point in the college basketball season. Louisville coach Rick Pitino told reporters on Tuesday that he has decided to strip junior forward Montrezl Harrell of his captaincy. Pitino gave no explanation for why he decided to make the move, but he did say that he still views Harrell—who is averaging 14.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.1 blocks and 0.9 steals per game this season—as a team leader.

From The Courier-Journal:

Louisville coach Rick Pitino on Tuesday confirmed a report that All-American forward Montrezl Harrell is no longer a U of L team captain, but he also sought to play down the significance of the change.

 

“Absolutely no big deal,” he said in a message to The Courier-Journal. “Totally nothing. He is still the leader of our team.”

 

ESPN 680, the local Louisville affiliate for ESPN Radio, broke the news on Sunday afternoon after Harrell reportedly told radio host Jason Anderson of the decision. No reason was given for the change.

 

Harrell, a 6-foot-8 junior from North Carolina, was made a team captain when he decided to skip the 2014 NBA draft and return to school for his junior year.

 

Senior wing Wayne Blackshear is now the team’s only official captain.