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.
Despite denying a report he would enter and remain in the draft days earlier, Bell formally announced the decision on RiseLongBeach.com on Tuesday.
“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.
Oregon sophomore forward Jordan Bell, a Pac-12 all-Freshman Team selection, is in jeopardy of missing the start of the season when the Ducks host Jackson State on Nov. 13.
In May, Bell underwent surgery to repair a broken right foot. At the time, head coach Dana Altman expected Bell to be ready for the start of the season. On Friday morning, Altman told reporters that Oregon’s top rebounder will continue his recovery for at least the next four weeks.
“Hopefully we will get him back here before too long,” Altman said via Steve Mims of the Register-Guard . “He won’t do anything in October. November 1 is looking like maybe we can start getting him some time, but definitely nothing this month. It’s something we won’t rush, we will be pretty conservative with it.”
Bell 5.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per contest in 35 games (20 starts) for the Ducks, blocking a program-record 94 shots. Oregon’s frontline returns Elgin Cook, Dwayne Benjamin and Dillon Brooks. Big men Trevor Manuel and Roman Sorkin and newcomer Chris Boucher, the NJCAA Player of the Year, can contribute on the interior in Bell’s absence.
Oregon’s opener is three days before a big non-conference clash at home against Baylor.
After surgery to repair a broken foot in May, Oregon center Jordan Bell is expected to be ready by training camp in early October, according to a report from Tyson Alger of The Oregonian.
The 6-foot-9 Bell broke his foot in the spring and will also have to sit out Oregon’s 10-day trip to Spain. But the rim protector should be okay for the season and he’ll be a key for the Ducks interior this season.
During his freshman year, Bell averaged 5.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game to go along with 2.7 blocks per game. Bell also shot 59 percent from the field and played in 35 games last season.
Although he missed the summer and the valuable practice time and additional game experience that comes on a foreign trip, if Bell is healthy he can be a major factor for the Ducks this season.
One of the best freshmen in the Pac-12 this past season will have to spend some time on the sideline this spring, as Oregon forward Jordan Bell underwent surgery for a broken right foot late last week. According to The Oregonian, while no timeline for recovery was given Oregon head coach Dana Altman expects the 6-foot-9 Bell to be ready in time for the 2015-16 season.
Bell wasn’t asked to do much in the way of scoring as a freshmen, but he did plenty in other areas for a team that finished second in the Pac-12 and advanced to both the Pac-12 tournament title game and the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament. Bell averaged 5.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game in 2014-15, and his 94 blocks set a single-season record for the Oregon program.
Bell will once again be a key player for Oregon, which added graduate point guard Dylan Ennis earlier Wednesday. 6-foot-10 Roman Sorkin, who joined the team in January, should be ready to contribute more next season and Oregon also adds 6-foot-10 Trevor Manuel to the interior rotation. With the lack of true interior players, Bell will once again need to be the last line of defense for the Ducks as they look to build on last year’s 26-win campaign.
For some bubble teams, picking up a signature victory can result in them resting on their laurels and suffering a setback (or two) in the aftermath. That hasn’t been the case for Oregon, which followed up a home win over then-No. 9 Utah with road victories over California and Stanford this weekend in their first sweep of the Bay Area road swing since 1976.
And in the Ducks’ 73-70 win at Stanford on Sunday, freshman forward Jordan Bell produced an impressive sequence that at the time changed the momentum of the game.
It all started on the defensive end, and that’s fitting for Bell considering the fact that he’s already the school record-holder for blocked shots in a season (81 and counting). With a teammate down on the floor, Bell rotated over to block a Stefan Nastic layup attempt and then took off to the other end of the court.
And as Joseph Young approached half court Bell raised his right hand, calling for the lob to the basket, and he finished the play with a two-handed dunk. Yet while this was an impressive play by one of the Pac-12’s best athletes, what’s more impressive is the way Dana Altman’s team has played in close games.
With Sunday’s win the Ducks, who are 22-8 overall and 12-5 in conference play, won for the eighth time in their last nine games and is now 6-0 in games decided by five points or less. And given the many new faces, including Bell, on the roster that’s a noteworthy achievement for the Ducks.
Also of note is the fact that Oregon has wrapped up a first-round by in the Pac-12 tournament, which puts them in position to avoid a “nothing to win but everything to lose” resume-killer against one of the conference’s poorer teams in their tournament opener.
Video credit: Fox Sports 1
With two games remaining in the suspensions of guard Dominic Artis and forward Ben Carter, Oregon will see its depth improve in short order. And apparently the Ducks will add another player, as freshman forward Jordan Bell has qualified and is now able to join the team. Bell, who played at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, needed to raise his SAT score before being able to qualify.
The news was first reported on Thursday by Matt Prehm of Duck Territory.
Bell’s a highly-athletic forward at 6-foot-7, with that ability allowing him to make an impact as a shot-blocker defensively and an above-the-rim finisher on the other end of the floor. The question now is whether or not Oregon head coach Dana Altman will look to add Bell to the front court rotation or redshirt him and thus preserve a season of eligibility.
After beating Georgetown by seven in their season opener the Ducks have won each of their last six games by 15 points or more, scoring at least 100 points in two of those games. Inside Mike Moser (13.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Elgin Cook (10.4, 5.0) and Richard Amardi (7.0, 4.6) have been the best players in the rotation, with Waverly Austin being another valuable reserve.
Whether or not Bell gets a shot at playing time will depend on how quickly he picks up Altman’s system obviously, and there’s likely to be some rust as well. And with Carter likely factoring into the rotation when he returns, it isn’t as if Oregon has to get a major contribution from Bell.