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NBA try-out for Bell

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NBA try-out for Bell

Bell to audition his game for NBA scouts
By Marcus Nelson

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

LAKE WORTH ? Florida Atlantic forward Mike Bell proved he can be a dominant player in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

This week, Bell will have a chance to show what we can do against a higher level of competition.

Bell is among 64 seniors invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which begins today. The tournament, held annually in Portsmouth, Va., is the only event after the NCAA Tournament and before the Chicago Draft Camp. More than 200 NBA scouts are expected to be in attendance at the four-day event.

"You only have a few days to show what you have, but I'm excited about it," Bell said before a workout at Palm Beach Community College on Monday.

Only a handful of scouts saw Bell play during the regular season, but he would like to use the Portsmouth Invitational to show that he can play against some of the nation's best.

"I am going to make sure people are going to know about me with a good performance up there," Bell said.

Before his two-year career at FAU, Bell played at Palm Beach Community College and has been working out with Panthers coach Steve Bernath since his senior season ended.

"The thing for Mike is that he has to go up there not so much to score, but play with enormous energy," Bernath said. "He has to find a way to get noticed when things aren't set up for him."

The 6-foot-10, 220-pound Bell was the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and was named honorable mention All-America this season after averaging 19.1 pointsand 9.3 rebounds per game. Bell scored 1,001 points in his career at FAU.

Bell has been hampered by a sore foot and has cut back on his workout regimen in the last 10 days.

"I really don't know what's wrong with it," Bell

said. "It's been bothering me for a while, and I've had an MRI and an X-ray and nothing showed up. I've been doing workouts in the pool lately because of it, and that's helped."

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NBA try-out for Bell

Bell measures up well at Invitational

By Ted Hutton
Staff Writer
Posted April 12 2005

Mike Bell had a sense his experience at the Portsmouth Invitational would be a good one when he was measured before the start of the tournament.

"I measured 6-foot-10 in my socks," said Bell, who was listed at 6-9 in his two-year career at Florida Atlantic.

Things got better from there, as the suddenly taller Bell's team won its first two games before falling in the championship game Saturday of the eight-team tournament, played before more than 200 NBA scouts.

"It was a great experience," said Bell, who played with a sore ankle that needed treatment throughout the three-day event. "I did nothing but help myself. A lot of people said I was the most intriguing player out there."

That was confirmed by Marty Blake, director of scouting for the NBA, who watched Bell measure up at the Invitational, which features 64 of the top seniors in the country.

"He played great," said Blake, who noted Bell is a good ball-handler despite his height, and can play close to the basket or on the perimeter. "He is an intriguing player, and he impressed people the way he played even though he was hurting."

Bell said he did not worry about scoring and instead tried to display is overall knowledge of the game.

He also found playing against the top players in the country easier than playing for FAU since he did not draw double and triple teams.

"When I drove the lane up there, it was open because the defenders couldn't collapse on me," Bell said.

Bell, who will graduate May 6, now is waiting to here if he is invited to June's NBA Chicago Pre-Draft Camp, which would put him closer to becoming FAU's first NBA player.

"He'll get real good consideration for coming to Chicago," Blake said.

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