Keegan Bell is a new name that has surfaced on the recruiting radar. Bell, a 6-1 freshman at Vanderbilt has announced his plans to transfer. Keegan averaged 2.7ppg and 2.8apg in 13.5 mpg while shooting 34.6% from long range. Interestingly he was only 32.3% from the field overall (only attempted 3/15 two point shots compared to 27/78 three point shots) and 50% from the stripe (10 attempts). The Wolverine has a report with Bell’s high school coach, his dad. Vanderbilt blog The Sports VU put up a question and answer session with Keegan that sheds some light on his reasons for transferring, the timing, and his game. Apparently Keegan fashions himself a young Steve Nash:
SV: You talked before about you and coach Stallings not seeing eye-to-eye. I remember you were very enthusiastic about coming here, what did you think was going to be your role?
KB: I thought it was going to be more of my style, where Iâ€™m a little more of a flashy player.
SV: Like Steve Nash, right?
KB: Right, I kind of like to do that. (Stallings) was just kind of negative about that sort of stuff, and with a number of things it just felt I couldnâ€™t play as much my game as I thought I was going to be.
Coming out of high school was offered by much of the SEC, Illinois and others and at one time was a top 100 kid. He made an early commitment to Georgia and later re-opened his recruitment before ending up at Vanderbilt. A free-blurb from Rivals at last years NBAPA camp about Keegan (with a mention of a Mr. Lucas from EL)
Kalin Lucas has a way of making his opponents look bad, but after struggling against Lucas in his first outing, Georgia commitment Keegan Bell has played confident and strong basketball in his last two outings. Bell has exercised restraint shooting the ball and has distributed the ball proficiently. He has also played with energy and passion on the defensive end.
Message boards tend to bring the worst out in sports fans but you can see Vanderbilt fans reactions here and here. From the Vanderbilt blogosphere the reaction seems to be confusion about Coach Stalling’s reaction in a situation that leaves with one point guard on the roster.
The question for Michigan is what this does to roster composition, Keegan would be eligible to play in the 08-09 season and that basically makes him an 09 recruit with 3 years to play. With Michigan limited on scholarships (only 2 to give in 09) this would mean (without other attrition) they would only be able to take one more recruit in 09. The interesting part here is that we are reportedly very strong with the recruitments of Darius Morris (PG) and Andy Brown (PF). This would probably end our chances at Morris or any other PG. If Beilein offers Bell you would have to assume that he likes his game better than Morris’ which will leave a lot of recruitniks heads spinning with frustration and confusion.Â Morris strikes me as much more of a scoring threat than Bell who admittedly does not always look to score:
“In a perfect world, Coach Stallings wants a point who averages about three assists with no turnovers and takes two or three shots a game,” Dan Bell said. “(Keegan) knows he’s not going to shoot as much as in high school – he doesn’t want that – but he does want to be in a position to let it go.”
The other issue here is what I will call the “Alex Legion effect”. Bell decommitted from Georgia and now is transferring after one year from Vanderbilt. I am not going to say that he is not a team player because I know little to nothing about him personally but it’s always a red flag when kids are switching schools this often. Second, Bell’s father & high school coach is doing a lot of talking for him, this is very reminiscent of Alex Legion’s mom doing plenty of talking for Alex. You never want to get in a situation where parents feel too involved.
“We didn’t feel like Keegan was a great fit there,” said Dan Bell, Keegan’s father and a longtime coach in the Alabama high school ranks. “We just felt like he’d have an opportunity to do some more things somewhere else.”
Does Keegan Bell want to transfer or does Dan Bell want Keegan to transfer?
Transfer recruitments usually move quickly so the action will probably be fast and furious with respect to Keegan’s recruitment in the next couple weeks.