Syracuse Basketball: Freshman Chris Bell to return, bolsters depth on wing

Syracuse basketball, Chris Bell (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Chris Bell (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse basketball freshman forward Chris Bell will come back to the Orange for his sophomore term, he said on Twitter.

The decision by the 6-foot-7 Bell to return to the Hill, coupled with the news that sophomore Benny Williams will also come back for his junior year, provides the ‘Cuse with stability at the forward spot.

Bell and Williams were each in the Orange’s starting rotation for much of the 2022-23 season, when the ‘Cuse finished at 17-15 overall. That being said, both of them also lost their roles in their starting line-up for a couple of games in 2022-23.

Chris Bell, who was part of a solid six-member 2022 recruiting class for Syracuse basketball, boasts strong athleticism and can shoot it from deep. His lack of rebounding, at times, was noted by head coach Jim Boeheim throughout the 2022-23 campaign.

Boeheim has retired, and on March 8, Adrian Autry was named by SU Athletics as the new head coach of the Orange.

Syracuse basketball freshman forward Chris Bell is returning to the team for the 2023-24 stanza.

In 2022-23, per ESPN statistics, Chris Bell appeared in 30 games, averaging 20.1 minutes per contest. He tallied averages of 6.6 points and 1.8 rebounds per encounter, while connecting on 40.2 percent from the field, a solid 34.5 percent from beyond the arc, and a strong 80.0 percent from the charity stripe.

Bell reached double-figures in scoring on nine occasions this past season. In mid-January, when Syracuse basketball defeated Notre Dame at home by five points, he produced 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from downtown.

Later on in January, Chris Bell generated 15 points, including 3-of-5 from 3-point land, when the Orange fell by four points to North Carolina at the JMA Wireless Dome.

Bell committed to Syracuse basketball in October of 2021. Throughout his recruiting process, he picked up more than 20 offers from a range of high-major programs. His three finalists were the ‘Cuse, Mike Hopkins-led Washington and Rutgers.

Syracuse basketball coaches offered a scholarship to Chris Bell in April of 2020, and he took two official visits to the Orange. He spent his senior year at Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah. Prior to that, Bell competed for De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif.

The majority of primary recruiting services ranked Chris Bell as a top-100 national prospect and a top-20 small forward within the 2022 cycle.

Per an article from Mike Waters of, Bell elected to return to Syracuse basketball for his sophomore term, rather than potentially enter the NCAA’s transfer portal, after discussing things with Autry and assistant coach Allen Griffin.

“We had some great talks with coach Red (Autry) and coach Griffin,” Charlie Bell, the father of Chris Bell, said in Waters’ piece. “We believe in the vision that coach Red has. We trust him and the plan that he has for Chris.”

I’m glad that Chris Bell will be back in an Orange uniform for the 2023-24 campaign.

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