Jordan Bell blames himself in emotional interview after Oregon's loss

By Arthur Weinstein 2 April 2017 182
Jordan Bell blames himself in emotional interview after Oregon's loss

Jordan Bell had a huge game against North Carolina in the Final Four, scoring 13 points and hauling in a career-high 16 rebounds.

But afterward, the 6-9 Oregon forward could only think about the two potential rebounds that got away, two missed free throws the Tar Heels tipped out in the final 5.8 seconds to preserve North Carolina's 77-76 victory.

Bell fought to keep his emotions in check as he recalled the final sequence.

"If I had just boxed out ... I had two opportunities and I missed both of them," Bell said. "We lost the game because of it."

Oregon coach Dana Altman did what he could to console Bell.

"There was a scrum there and we didn't come up with either one," Altman said in his post-game media session. "So Jordan felt terrible. But I told him, I said, 'Buddy, you got 16 rebounds, we wouldn't have been in this position if it hadn't been for you.'

"So all the guys felt bad. We had 5.8 seconds. We had time to get a look. And we just didn't get it done."

As Altman noted, the Ducks wouldn't have been in that situation without Bell's prodigious work on the glass. Those 16 rebounds were not only a career high, but they also gave him five games of 10 or more rebounds in this year's tournament. According to ESPN Stats, only four other players have done that since 1985: Anthony Davis, Shane Battier, Antawn Jamison and Larry Johnson.

"We had a great year, but we didn't reach our goal," Bell said.

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Arthur Weinstein