Syracuse Basketball: Chris Bell adds strength, eyes more consistent term

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

Syracuse basketball sophomore forward Chris Bell has added weight and gotten stronger this off-season, as he looks to build upon a freshman year on the Hill that included some positive things but also contained inconsistency.

Per a recent post on X from Mike Waters of, Bell has gained 14 pounds since the end of the 2022-23 season, when the Orange went 17-15 overall and missed the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row.

He is listed on as 6-foot-7 and 188 pounds. Chris Bell started a lot of games for the ‘Cuse in 2022-23 under then-head coach Jim Boeheim. He scored in double-figures on nine occasions as a freshman, but his production was up and down, and Bell struggled on the boards.

By working hard both in the gym and in the weight room, Bell is stronger these days, and that should help him in the rebounding arena as he goes up against physical opponents during the non-conference docket and in Atlantic Coast Conference competition.

Syracuse basketball forward Chris Bell is poised for a strong sophomore season.

First-year head coach Adrian Autry and his versatile roster officially begin their 2023-24 term on Monday, Nov. 6, when the ‘Cuse will host New Hampshire. I anticipate that Bell will be in Autry’s starting rotation at the onset of 2023-24.

A campaign ago, Chris Bell appeared in 30 games. He averaged 20.1 minutes, 6.6 points and 1.8 rebounds per contest, while connecting on 40.2 percent from the field, 34.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 80.0 percent from the free-throw line.

I have every confidence that Bell will be among the Orange’s top long-range shooters in 2023-24. I also think he’s going to be much improved on the boards. Additionally, I believe that Chris Bell this coming season is going to prove more assertive in not just shooting from the perimeter, but also driving to the basket and finishing around the rim through contact.

While Bell is likely to play the majority of his minutes at small forward, given his solid ball-handling skills and Autry’s strategy of playing so-called “position-less basketball,” Chris could also see some court time at shooting guard.

Autry recently told college basketball insider Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports that he’s seen marked improvements from all of his returning players, including Bell.

He was part of a stellar six-member 2022 class for Syracuse basketball. In this cycle, several recruiting services rated the four-star Bell as a top-80 national prospect. Before joining the Orange, Chris Bell spent his senior year at the Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, a program that is part of the prestigious National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (“NIBC”).

Next. Syracuse Basketball: ‘Cuse poised for bounce-back season, per Andy Katz. dark