EUGENE — Jordan Bell had the best rebounding games of his career in front of friends and family.
The Long Beach, Calif., native had a career-high 15 rebounds in Oregon’s 82-79 loss at UCLA on Thursday before following with 14 in an 81-70 win over USC on Saturday. Bell had 39 percent of Oregon’s 74 rebounds during the Los Angeles trip,
“I joked with him that we need to play more games in L.A.,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “That is two great rebounding games. He really went after the defensive boards.”
Bell had 18 defensive rebounds and 11 offensive rebounds against the Bruins and Trojans.
In his first 88 career games, the 6-foot-9, 225-pound junior had a career high of 13 rebounds against USC during his freshman season. He had 12 this season against Western Oregon and UNLV.
“I have been focused on rebounding,” said Bell, who pushed his team-leading average from 7.6 to 8.1 rebounds per game during the weekend and ranks ninth in the Pac-12. “Obviously, we have enough scoring going on, so I don’t need to worry about that.”
Oregon nominated Bell for Pac-12 player of the week. He also had 21 points, seven assists and four steals in the two games.
Bell is challenging school records for shooting percentage while averaging a career-high 10.8 points per game. His 282 points has already exceeded his total from either of his first two seasons.
Bell is shooting 61.4 percent from the field to rank second in the Pac-12 and is close to the single-season school record of 61.9 set by Richard Lucas in 1991. His 59.7 career percentage is on pace to break Lucas’ career record of 56.5.
Bell got his 54th blocked shot of the season at USC, passing his total from last season. He’s fourth in school single-season history and has three of the top-five marks on that list, including No. 2 with 94 blocks as a freshman. Bell also has the school career record of 201.
Bell, who ranks fourth in the conference and 38th in the nation with 2.1 blocks per game, is the seventh player in Pac-12 history with 200 career blocked shots. He ranks ninth in the conference with 1.3 steals per game and is the only player ranked in the top 10 in the Pac-12 in rebounds, blocks, steals and shooting percentage.
DUCKS SLIP TO NO. 7
Oregon is the best team in the Pac-12 in the eyes of the NCAA selection committee, but the Ducks are third to the Associated Press voters.
Oregon dropped two spots to No. 7 in the poll Monday after splitting its trip to Los Angeles. The Ducks (22-4, 11-2) remained in the top 10 for the fourth week this season.
Conference-leading Arizona (23-3, 12-1) moved up to No. 5, and UCLA (23-3, 10-3) is No. 6. No other conference team is in the Top 25, and only USC received votes.
Gonzaga remained No. 1 for the third week in a row followed by Villanova, Kansas and Baylor, although the Bears lost 84-78 at Texas Tech on Monday.
The NCAA selection committee released its top four seeds in each of the four regions on Saturday and the Ducks were the No. 8 overall seed before beating USC 81-70 that night. Arizona was No. 9, and UCLA was 15th.
“Just keep shooting, that is what shooters do. I knew it would be a 40-minute fight and a game of runs and at the end, we had the run.” — Oregon sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey, who scored 12 points in the second half of the win over USC on 4-for-5 three-point shooting after missing all three attempts from that range in the first half.