May 28, 2013
Columbia, Mo. - Missouri Head Coach Frank Haithannounced on Tuesday that Quddus "Deuce" Bello has signed a financial aid agreement to attend the University of Missouri and play for the men's basketball program.
Bello will sit out the 2013-14 season and will be classified as a redshirt junior for the 2014-15 campaign.
Bello comes to Mizzou after two seasons at Baylor University where he averaged 2.8 points and 10.6 minutes per game and will be the beneficiary of an entire season of work with Haith and his staff before taking the floor in two years. A consensus Top 60 recruit as a high school senior in the Class of 2011, Bello was strong in the classroom at Baylor (Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll) and should add to a Tiger roster that saw three more players graduate this spring and enjoy a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average.
"Obviously a key word here with Deuce is his potential," Head Coach Frank Haithsaid. "First and foremost, Deuce is a high-character young man that fits our program on a number of levels and I think our fans will gravitate towards him because he is such a nice, humble young guy. Secondly he will step on campus ready to work. The precedent of improvement during that year away has already been set by guys like Earnest (Ross), Jabari (Brown), Jordan (Clarkson) and Keion (Bell). Those guys improved tremendously during that year off and Deuce will follow that same model.
"As a player I really like his desire to be the best defender possible," Haith continued. "He is a tremendous athlete and has that great explosion and length that you just can't teach. He wants to be great and wants to hang his hat on being a defensive stopper. I really liked his mindset when we spoke and I'm very excited to have him with us at Mizzou."
The Greensboro, N.C., native played in 66 games overall at Baylor, shooting 46.7 percent from the floor. He reached double figures in scoring twice as a sophomore, including 10 points in a Postseason NIT win over Long Beach State. His career scoring high actually came against Missouri as a freshman when he scored 13 points and grabbed six boards vs. the Tigers in the 2012 Big 12 Championship title game.
“I am really excited about joining the program at Missouri and just felt like I had a great relationship with the staff during the recruiting process,” Deuce Bello said. “Coach Haith and Coach Fuller are two guys I was very familiar with and I really like how they play, the fan support they have and the opportunity to play in the SEC was exciting to me. I can’t wait to get on campus and get to work.”
Bello played for Pat Khany at Westchester Country Day High School in High Point, N.C., and was a three time all-state honoree. He was selected to the Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game and the 39th Derby Festival Basketball Classic, where he scored a game high 20 points. Twice named his conference's player of the year, Bello averaged 19.3 points and 6.9 rebounds as a junior and 20.0 points and 5.1 rebounds as a sophomore. As a senior Bello led Westchester Country Day to the 2011 NCISAA 2A state championship.
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Quddus pronounced kuh-DEUCE