It’s unknown whether or not Jordan Bell will receive an invite to the NBA Draft green room, but if he does attend, you won’t see him trying to be too stylish.
“I haven’t worn a suit or tie since senior year of high school,” Bell told reporters at the draft combine Thursday. “I’m not a guy who needs to be flashy—something simple, probably like a plaid or checkered something. Just real simple.”
Bell’s fashion sense is a clear indicator of his personality and attitude, but his skill set goes way beyond “simple.”
A “Mr. Do It All” for Dana Altman at the University of Oregon, the 22-year-old had a remarkable season alongside fellow prospects Chris Boucher, Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey.
According to Sports Reference CBB, Bell was one of five players in Division I to average 10 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and a steal per game. These marks were remarkable over a 39-game span. When asked what his teammates would say about him, he responded confidently.
“Tough S.O.B.,” Bell said. “Definitely a leader on the team as far as physically. Demanding effort every defensive possession.
“I’m not the type of leader that’s going to yell at you. I’m definitely fair. I understand that people are going to make mistakes, so I’m not the kind of guy to critique every little single thing you do wrong.”
As conference championship week winded down, Boucher went down with a season-ending knee injury and the Ducks need somebody to step up. Bell answered and delivered with arguably his most impressive stretch of the year.
Over the entire span of Oregon’s Final Four run, the junior forward was an absolute monster. He took what the opposition gave him and made them pay. Known mostly for his ability on the defensive side of things, it was his offensive production that opened a lot of eyes.
In that span from March 17 to April 1, Bell averaged 12.6 points per game on an extremely efficient 73 percent from the field. Most of the attempts came inside the paint where he thrives and finishes with force, but he also stepped out to knock down some jumpers as well.
In addition to the scoring onslaught, Bell pulled down over 13 rebounds per game, nearly half of which were offensive, and averaged three blocked shots. Even by the eye test, he says March Madness was huge for his exposure.
“It definitely helped me out a lot,” Bell said. “I think the Michigan game, the whole tournament really, the way I played just rebounding and defending. I didn’t really score that many points, but I just think that I’m showing I was the best at those things, defending and blocking shots and rebounding.
“I think that really showed teams that I embrace who I am, I know my role. When the lights come on, I don’t try to do anything different. I try to succeed at what I do best.”
Standing at roughly 6-foot-8 and weighing in at 224 pounds, the argument against Bell is his college-friendly frame. Because of that, he’s projected as a late first to early-mid second round draft pick. He’s already following in the footsteps of the man he emulates his game after.
“Draymond [Green] because people always say I’m undersized,” Bell said. He’s one of those players you can’t really say what position he is, but he’s a force on defense.”
He added that he likes to compare his game to two other players as well—Kenneth Faried for his energy and Tristan Thompson in terms of rebounding.
Athleticism is not even a question when it comes to his abilities. In the shuttle run drill, Bell set a draft combine record with a 2.56 mark. The overall experience of the event has been fun for him.
“Very enjoyable,” Bell said. “Having to meet with teams and seeing all the players in the draft just now and competing against them.”
Thus far, Bell has met only with the Miami HEAT, a team he sees as a fit because of their defensive focus. He was also asked about the Charlotte Hornets, Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic, but he has yet to speak with those franchises.
“Defending I think is one of my best attributes,” Bell said. “Being able to switch one through five. Play small ball. Blocking shots. Timing. Decision making on offense.
“I think me just knowing my role and knowing what I do well and becoming a star in my role, I think I do a pretty good job of just staying in my limits.”
Regardless of where Bell goes, that team will get a player with a high motor and an excellent approach cultivating a team’s culture.
The weapons in his arsenal will be just as beneficial.
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