Oregon, a program that reached its first Final Four since 1939 this past season, suffered another blow to its 2017-2018 lineup, as Jordan Bell, the breakout star from the NCAA Tournament run, announced he would enter the NBA Draft and sign with an agent, ending his collegiate career.
Bell joins Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks as early entrants in the 2017 NBA Draft. All three of them were starters for the Ducks, as was Dylan Ennis, a graduate transfer, who exhausted his eligibility.
“To be able to put all that the University of Oregon has done for me into words is going to be very difficult but I will try,” he wrote. “Oregon has become my home. I gained lifelong friends and made so many unforgettable memories here. After talking it over with my family and friends, I have decided that now is the best time for me to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA. With that being said, I’m going to enter my name in the NBA Draft and plan to sign with an agent.”
Bell was one of the dominant defenders in the college basketball, which came apparent to a nationwide audience during March Madness. With Chris Boucher sidelined for the season, Bell held down the fort for the Ducks. In five tournament games, he averaged 12.6 points, 13.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. However, his postseason performance will be marred by the two missed boxouts in the closing seconds of Oregon’s national semifinal loss to eventual champion North Carolina.
The 6-foot-9 Bell, who is already 22 years old, is projected to be an early second round pick by DraftExpress.com.