Barbee likes the Montgomery native's demeanor.
"KT is a talented player," Barbee said. "His most important skills are how steady he is. You know what you're getting — his absolute best. You can never tell if KT is having a good day or bad day. He's a vocal leader. He's an ultimate competitor. On top of it, he's a talented offensive player, too."
Harrell could do little beyond practicing and offering encouraging words after losses last season.
Payne thinks the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Harrell is doing the right things so far — except, perhaps, for being too hard on ping pong paddles.
"He's probably the hardest working player that I've ever played with, ever," he said. "And I've played with Frankie for three years. He works hard in the weight room, works hard on the floor. He's doing stuff on his own, and it shows in practice. It shows in the pickup games that we've played. He'll definitely be a leader for us as far as numbers go, and he always does the right thing. He's always in the right spot off the floor. He's just a leader for us."
Harrell also thinks this team is already developing more chemistry than last year's group heading into a trip to the Bahamas for two exhibition games in early August.
"The chemistry wasn't there," Harrell said. "I think that played a big role in it. Everybody wasn't bought into it, but I think this year we've got a group of guys who are committed to winning. And we all get along with each other, the chemistry is there, and that's important. We've got a group of guys who are competitive. Everybody's competitive.
"I can't say everybody wasn't competitive (last season), but now we've got a group of guys that want to win. That's a big difference on this team."