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June 18, 2011
Keion Bell left his official visit to Missouri on Tuesday with the Tigers firmly in the lead. But Bell said he didn't want to make "a decision based on temporary emotion" and would take a visit to Texas A&M prior to making a firm decision on his new home.
That changed late Friday night when Bell committed to the Tigers without a trip to College Station.
"Missouri it seemed like the right fit and the coaches and the people on the team, it seemed like there was more of a sense of urgency to get me on their campus," said the 6-foot-3 combo guard. "I felt a lot more wanted at Missouri than A&M. I kind of liked my options at Missouri so I went ahead and committed."
Bell broke the news to coach Tim Fuller on Friday night, but it went viral about 1:40 a.m. on Saturday when he tweeted the commitment.
"I talked to (Fuller) last night, told him I liked Missouri and everything they offered and I just told him that I'd be there," Bell said. "Then I told Kimmie English and he's got a lot more Twitter followers than I do and it really got out from there."
Bell said he will be in Columbia by the start of the second summer school session on July 5th. He won't be attending classes, but will be going through rehab for a wrist injury and getting acclimated to campus. He will have to sit out this season before finishing out his eligibility in the 2012-13 season.
"The key reason why I chose Missouri is I know I'm going to have to sit out and not be able to travel and they have Earnest (Ross) sitting out too," Bell said. "The fact I have somebody sitting out with me, when the team travels, I have someone to stay back with me, go to the gym and get up shots, was a huge factor. If you love basketball, you love basketball and the fact I get to practice and go against three potential pros every day in Kimmie, Denmon and Bowers, I'm just embracing the moment."
Bell averaged 16.4 points per game in his Pepperdine career and will step in to compete for immediate playing time at the two guard spot in 2012-13. The Tigers lose both Marcus Denmon and Matt Pressey after next season.
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