EUGENE, Oregon — Oregon’s Jordan Bell has declared for the 2017 NBA Draft. The junior announced his decision via Rise Long Beach on Twitter. Bell made a gigantic impression in the 2017 NCAA Tournament and now he will reap the benefits.
This may be a most difficult day for Duck fans, but what Bell did for the program can never be understated. He was simply unbelieveable. Bell is an incredible athlete and basketball player, yet it isn’t half of what he is OFF the court.
The man, the myth, the legend. What else can we say? He is Oregon’s No. 1 shot blocker in school history with 233 career rejections. Good luck breaking that record.
Bell is one of the most positive, charismatic, thoughtful athletes I have met in my life. Being able to follow around the 2016-17 Oregon basketball team was a major highlight of my career. I will never forget the respect and appreciation Bell exhibited with the media on a nightly basis. For that, he will always be one of my all-time favorites.
For his incredible junior year, the forward averaged 10.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 1.8 APG and 1.3 SPG. His monstrous campaign earned him the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Defensive Team honors. Not to mention, Bell dominated March Madness.
Amid one of the most unprecedented runs in tournament history, the No. 3 seed Ducks were placed on the shoulders of Bell. The Long Beach product amassed 13.2 boards per game, 12.6 points per contest and 3.2 blocked shots a night.
Additionally, Bell set the Oregon record with eight blocked shots in a single game against No. 1 Kansas in the Elite Eight.
Originally, Bell’s declaration was announced by @ShamsCharania erroneously on Twitter. The Oregon star was not happy about the information leaking, so he denounced it moments later.
You have to respect that Bell allowed a Long Beach community organization to release his NBA decision. He is so modestly humble that he wanted someone from his hometown to benefit from his announcement. You can't hate that.
What type of NBA player will he be? After speaking with scouts, he could find himself as a core bench player that has a solid role during his professional career. Will he be a superstar at the next level? Stick around for my Jordan Bell: NBA Draft Profile in the coming days.
The ONLY downside to this decision, aside from Bell leaving, is No. 6 prospect Brandon McCoy. The 5-star recruit may be leaning toward Michigan State now. Without Bell, McCoy would have a great deal placed on his back during his freshman year.
This is really about McCoy’s mental make-up. Is he the type of guy that needs stars around him to produce or does he want to be the man? The AP No. 5 team in the nation entering the tournament now has a few openings at the “star” position.
The same can be said for arguably the best transfer in college basketball, Elijah Brown. Does he need Bell at Oregon to commit? We shall see very soon. It really leaves me nauseous and in desperate need of some Pepto.
Earlier in the season, I wrote a piece called Payton Pritchard: The Future of Oregon Basketball. I may need to repost that in the coming days, because the returning class is dwindling by the day. Let’s just be thankful Pritchard is from Oregon.
I will have an extended breakdown of the Bell decision and the trickle-down effect it may cause in terms of recruiting for the Ducks. Stick around for all breaking Duck news on the men’s basketball team.