2019 C Jimmy Bell Jr. committed to Saint Louis University over the weekend, making him the fifth player to join Travis Ford’s recruiting class.
Bell, a 6’10, 270 pound 3 star center according to 247 Sports, visited SLU and watched the Billikens defeat George Mason 81-71 before committing after the game, in yet another instance of Ford securing a commitment right after an official visit. He fills an immediate need for a big man, as Hasahn French is currently the only big man returning to SLU next season, and Bell is certainly big. The Saginaw, MI native has lost almost 100 pounds since he transferred to Bella Vista Prep in Arizona.
Bell is a traditional back-to-the-basket center who is able to use his size to overpower opponents and protect the paint. He’s fairly athletic for his size, though quickness and mobility will still be a concern. However, very few big men in the A-10 have similar size to Bell, and he should get immediate playing time next year.
When reached for comment, Bell said, “Thank you to the SLU fans and coaches for having me and I’m looking forward to bringing in wins and championships for this team.”
In addition to Bell, SLU’s 2019 recruiting class includes wing Terrence Hargrove Jr., point guard Yuri Collins, wing Javonte Perkins, and shooting guard Gibson Jimerson. Hargrove, Collins and Perkins are all local recruits, as Hargrove plays for East St. Louis HS, Collins plays at St. Mary’s High School in St. Louis, and Perkins is a St. Louis native playing JUCO at Southwestern Illinois College. Jimerson is a native of Richmond, VA playing at Montverde Academy in Florida.
Ford still has 2 more scholarships, since in additon to Javon Bess, DJ Foreman, Dion Wiley, and Tramaine Isabell graduating, Luis Santos and Carte’Are Gordon left in-season and Elliott Welmer is likely to retire due to injury this year. It will be interesting to see how Ford fills those spots, whether it be with transfers or high schoolers. See below for some of Bell’s highlights from last season at Bella Vista: