A busy summer for first-year head coach Steve Forbes continued on Monday, as East Tennessee State welcomed in its third transfer.
Deuce Bello, the former Baylor and Missouri guard, elected to use his final season of eligibility with the Buccaneers. Chris Dortch and Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports both reported the news on Monday evening. Bello is eligible to play in the 2015-16 season.
Bello joins former Cincinnati guard Ge’Lawn Guyn and ex-Indiana center Hanner Mosquera-Perea, who was dismissed from the program back in May. While Mosquera-Perea must sit a year, Guyn is also immediately eligible. Peter Jurkin, another former IU product, will also resume his collegiate career after sitting out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Bello averaged only 1.8 points and 1.0 rebounds per game in his final season with the Tigers and missed time due to academic reasons. The 6-foot-4 Bello has never lived up to his four-star rating — No. 54 overall by Rivals in the Class of 2011 — coming out of high school, but he is a gifted athlete who could make an impact in the Southern Conference.
Freshman Jakeenan Gant made his first start of the season for Missouri Tuesday night in their 74-72 overtime loss to Oklahoma State in Kansas City, but that wasn’t the only personnel move made by head coach Kim Anderson. According to a report from the Columbia Missourian following the game, junior guard Deuce Bello has been suspended indefinitely for “some academic issues.”
It is unknown when Bello, who began his college career at Baylor and did not play Tuesday night, will be allowed to return to the court.
Bello came off the bench in each of Missouri’s first 11 games of the season, averaging 2.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 10.7 minutes of action per game. Bello’s most productive game of the season came in a loss to Purdue at the Maui Invitational, as he scored eight points and grabbed two rebounds in a season-high 16 minutes of action.
The Tigers have lost four of their last five heading into Saturday’s non-conference finale against Lipscomb, and they open SEC play January 8 against LSU.
There are very few things in the sport basketball that can get fans out of their seats the way that a massive dunk can, which is why we’re here to help you. You want to know what games and what players to watch in case a freak athlete decides to take flight on some poor, unsuspecting defender that jumped? We’ve got you covered.
Here are college basketball’s best dunkers (with examples of why):
1. Michael Qualls, Arkansas: Qualls is a 6-foot-6 wing that plays for Mike Anderson and Arkansas, meaning that he’ll have plenty of opportunities in the open floor with a lane to the rim. Qualls averaged 11.6 points last season, but he’s probably best known for the game-winning tip-dunk he had in a win over Kentucky. That wasn’t his best dunk, however:
2. John Brown, High Point: High Point isn’t exactly known for being a basketball powerhouse, but they managed to land one of the nation’s highest-flyers three years ago. Brown has been posterizing defenders for a long, long time in the Big South:
3. Sam Thompson, Ohio State: You know you’re a big-time dunker when you have a nickname that is a synonym for dunk: Slam Thompson. His specialty? Finishing alley-oops. Here’s what I mean:
4. Shaquille Johnson, Longwood: Johnson did not last long at Auburn, as he’s looking for a second chance to get his hoops career going with the Lancers. It may not actually happen for Johnson this season, but the former top 100 recruit still owns the most impressive mixtape I’ve seen:
7. Troy Williams, Indiana: Williams entered college with the reputation of being one of the best dunkers in high school basketball, but his freshmen season yielded surprisingly few posterizations. That should change this season, as Williams is a year older, stronger and better and the Hoosiers will be looking to play a more uptempo, spread out style.
8. J.P. Tokoto, North Carolina: Tokoto is a high-flying wing for the Tar Heels, and while his lack of a jump shot means he’s a long way away from being more than an athlete and an energy at this point, he should be a nice compliment alongside Marcus Paige and Justin Jackson. And given Roy Williams’ tendency to push tempo, don’t be surprised to see Tokoto constantly making the highlight reel.
9. Deuce Bello, Missouri: Bello is a high-flying shooting guard that was a favorite of the mixtape guys during his time in high school. But he was never able to catch on with Baylor, and eventually transferred to Missouri before sitting out the 2013-2014 season. You don’t just lose hops like this, though.
10. Montrezl Harrell, Louisville: There is nothing pretty about Harrell. His game is entirely centered
11. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona: Hollis-Jefferson is a unique player, an explosive, entertainingly athletic wing that attacks the glass, is a terror defensively and is a more-than-capable passer. He could have been a first round pick if he left school after last season, but he returned to school and is a jump shot away from being in the 2015 lottery. In the meantime, let’s hope he keeps doing this.
12. Javonte Douglas, Old Dominion: He’s a JuCo transfer, but I promise you know who he is:
13. Cliff Alexander, Kansas: Alexander may not end up being the player that Montrezl Harrell is this season, and he may not end up being a major part of Bill Self’s offensive attack, but the Jayhawk big man will dunk anything and everything around the rim.
Among 30 of the top recruits, Michael Gilchrist and Austin Rivers tied as the top player. Gilchrist also garnered the most votes as top defender and hardest worker. Small wonder the Kentucky-bound wing is viewed as perhaps the nation’s best recruit.
Philly’s Rakeem Christmas ran away with best forward honors, while St. Louis guard Brad Beal is seen as the best shooter.
But perhaps the most impressive result? North Carolina Deuce Bello got half the available votes for most athletic. That calls for a highlight tape of the 6-3 guard. Um, wow.