One of the top remaining post players on the junior college landscape, 6-9 power/combo forward Michael Bell of Palm Beach (FL) C.C., has orally committed to the Florida Atlantic basketball program.
JUCO Junction contacted Head Coach Steve Bernath, and he confirmed that Bell was headed to Sidney Green's Atlantic Sun program.
This comes as little surprise to us, since we reported last month that FAU was strongly in the picture for Bell's services.
Bell picked the Owls after seriously considering Indiana, Utah, UAB, St. Joseph's and Virginia Commonwealth.
"The relationship with the head coach was going to be paramount in Mike's decision," Bernath said via a prepared statement. "He can Coach Green really hit it off well, and Coach Green's appreciation for Mike's basketball ability is only surpassed by his genuine feeling for Mike as a person."
Bernath enjoyed a terrific sophomore campaign for the Panthers, averaging 20.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game. He was runner-up to Broward's Nate Daniels (Louisville) for Southern Conference Player of the Year.
A skilled big man with deft shooting touch and passing skills, Bell came to Palm Beach after spending two years at North Carolina State University. The Raleigh, N.C., native red-shirted a year and played sparingly the other in his two campaigns for the Wolfpack.
Not only was Bell a dominant force for Palm Beach this winter, but he also was able to rediscover something in the process.
"Mike had a productive year statistically, but more importantly, he was able to reignite his confidence and passion for the game," Bernath noted. "His best days are certainly ahead of him."
Bell is expected to sign a national letter of intent this spring with FAU. The late signing period kicks off on Wednesday, Apr. 16.