H: 6' 3"|
W: 200 lbs
(22 Years Old)
|Rank 92 in NCAA Seniors ||
High School: Pasadena
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
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|Top NBA Draft Prospects in Non-BCS Conferences, Part Five (#26-30)|
November 11, 2010
After an impressive freshman season at Pepperdine, Keion Bell established himself as one of the best scorers on the West Coast as a sophomore, averaging a cool 23.4 points per-40 minutes pace adjusted, good for 24th in the NCAA. Despite his scoring prowess, though, Bell still has plenty of room to improve as a junior, as he also ranked top-5 in turnovers and top-15 in usage and field goal attempts.
From a physical standpoint, Bell has made a name for himself on the national level with his freakish leaping ability, establishing himself as somewhat of a Youtube sensation with his lengthy reel of phenomenal dunks. Besides his athleticism, though, Bell doesn't have great size for an NBA shooting guard prospect at around 6-2 or 6-3, and appears to be on the frail side as well with average length.
Bell's role at the college level is to act as the first, second and third option in Pepperdine's sputtering offense, a team that finished last in the WCC with a 7-24 overall record. While he certainly puts points up on the board, he struggles to do so efficiently, converting just 45% of his 2-point attempts last season, and turning the ball over on 21% of possessions. To his credit, though, he doesn't have a great deal of help alongside him.
Bell is a fairly skilled player with the ball in his hands, being very effective in transition especially thanks to his excellent speed and explosiveness. He gets to free throw line at a very good rate for those same reasons, and knocks down a solid 75% of his attempts once there. Despite his excellent leaping ability, Bell struggles to finish around the basket through contact, which is likely a testament to his lack of strength and frail frame.
In the half-court, Bell can create his own shot effectively and score in a multitude of ways, particularly in the paint with a very nice floater. He tends to overdribble at times, though, running into brick walls and looking fairly predictable, causing him to get careless with ball and make bad decisions. His advanced ball-handling skills and ability to change speeds and keep defenses off-balance is still very much a work in progress at this stage, something that would likely become more evident against better competition than he faces in the WCC. Right now he needs too many dribbles to get his own shot—a luxury he won't be afforded in any league he plays in after college. Additionally, his reliance on attempting long contested pull-up jumpers in the mid-range area really hurts his shooting percentages.
As a shooter, Bell improved his 3-point percentages dramatically from his freshman to sophomore year, going from converting a paltry 25.5% of his attempts to a much more respectable 35.7%, despite sporting a slow release and slightly unorthodox mechanics. Continuing to improve in this area will be key, as it's unlikely that he'll ever see as much freedom with the ball in his hands at the professional level as he does at Pepperdine.
At his size, Bell could be well served trying to work on his playmaking ability in his final two seasons of college eligibility, as he'd likely be more attractive to the NBA as a combo guard rather than as an undersized shooting guard. He averaged a solid amount of assists last season and shows the ability at times to create for others within the flow of offense, but still, he's clearly much more of a scorer than a playmaker in terms of his mentality.
Defensively, Bell has some tools to work with, as he has quick feet putting pressure on the ball and rebounds the ball very well for a guard with his explosive leaping ability. With that said, he lacks size and strength and doesn't help himself at all with the poor effort often he brings to this end of the floor. He shows poor fundamentals, regularly looks lackadaisical in his stance, tends to give up on plays easily, and often looks content just swiping at the ball aimlessly from behind once he gets beat.
Bell just doesn't show much desire or pride in terms of keeping his man in front of him at this stage, which is likely in large part due to the huge role he's forced to shoulder on the offensive end of the ball. With that said, NBA teams will want to know that he can make up for his lack of ideal physical tools and guard his own position at the next level, and he isn't doing himself any favors currently with how he looks on film.
Bell still has two years to round out his skill-set and make himself more attractive to NBA talent evaluators, something he clearly looks capable of doing if he puts the work in. His scoring instincts and athleticism are clearly things that can't be taught, and if he can find a way to improve on his defense, playmaking ability and offensive efficiency, he should get himself plenty of looks.
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