Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith is adding another transfer to his team.
Former Baylor swingman Deuce Bello — once ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 54 player in the country — has decided to transfer to Mizzou.
Bello, who will have two years of eligibility remaining after he sits out the 2013-14 season under transfer rules, said Florida State, Florida, Colorado State and Gardner-Webb were also interested in him. Bello, a 6 feet 4 and 187 pounds, averaged 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per game as a sophomore last season.
“I just feel like the coaching staff is good, and I’ve been cool with (associate coach) Tim (Fuller) for a while,” Bello said. “At Baylor, we played Mizzou three times and I like their style of play. They get up and down the floor and press. Plus I’ve been on the campus so I know what it’s like.”
Bello said he recently decided to ask for his release from Baylor in a search for more playing time. The Bears signed three highly-touted guards in its 2013 recruiting class, including former Raytown South star Ishmail Wainright.
“I just felt like another place would be better for me,” Bello said. “I wasn’t getting the time I wanted.”
Bello was used primarily as a defender at Baylor, and said hetakes pride in his athleticism
, ability to defend and finish in traffic. However, he says Missouri’s coaches see him as more than that, and added that he was also impressed with the way Haith has used other transfers, like Earnest Ross, Jabari Brown and Alex Oriakhi.
“I’m going to work on the stuff I need to work on, just my body, getting stronger and my mid-range game,” said Bello, who hopes to get up to 205 pounds by the 2014 season.