collegesports 5 days ago

Jordan Bell latest Oregon player to declare for draft

The Associated Press — By ANNE M. PETERSON - AP Sports Writer

Oregon forward Jordan Bell has become the latest Ducks player to declare for the NBA Draft.

The Long Beach, California, native says he plans to hire an agent, which would end his college eligibility. Bell made his announcement Tuesday on the website riselongbeach.com.

The junior joins Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey in declaring since the end of the season.

"Oregon has become my home. I've gained lifelong friends and made unforgettable memories here," Bell wrote. "After talking it over with my family and friends, I have decided now is the best time for me to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA."

Oregon finished 33-6 this season, setting a program record for wins, and made its fifth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Ducks fell 77-76 to North Carolina in national semifinals.

Bell averaged a career-high 10.9 points and 8.8 rebounds a game this season. In the NCAA Tournament, the 6-foot-9 forward averaged 12.6 points, 13.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 3.0 blocks.

Named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Bell set an Oregon career record with Bell 235 blocked shots. He also finished with a .610 field-goal percentage, best all-time for the Ducks.

Bell, Brooks and Dorsey were key to the Ducks' first appearance in the Final Four since Oregon won the first NCAA Tournament in 1939.

Brooks, a 6-foot-7 junior, averaged 16.1 points this season for Oregon, scoring game-winners against Tennessee, UCLA and Cal. He finished 10th on the all-time Oregon scoring list with 1,612 points.

Dorsey, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, averaged 14.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game this season. His play picked up as the season went on and he averaged 23.5 points over the Ducks' five tournament games.

Ducks reserve guard Casey Benson also announced that he planned to graduate this spring from Oregon and transfer for his final year of eligibility. Benson averaged 4.9 points and 1.9 assists this season for the Ducks, playing backup to freshman starter Payton Pritchard.

In his statement, Bell thanked coach Dana Altman and the rest of the Ducks' staff.

"Thank you for giving me a shot, for allowing me to set my bar high and helping me reach it, and for constantly reminding me to bend my knees," he wrote. "Most of all, thank you for helping me become a better man on and off the court."

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