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WVU F Jimmy Bell Used Matchup Against TCU’s Eddie Lampkin as Motivation



MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia big man Jimmy Bell had his most complete game as a Mountaineer, recording a double-double in a win over No. 14 TCU on Wednesday. Bell finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds but that was sparked by pregame motivation.

Bell received text messages throughout the week from people telling him that TCU’s Eddie Lampkin was the best big in the Big 12. Bell used that as motivation to prove those people wrong.

“I took it personal,” Bell said postgame. “He’s a big guy, he’s a good player. I definitely felt like I had the advantage, just used it and had a good night.”

Bell was able to hold Lampkin to just five points and three rebounds. Lampkin, a sophomore out of Katy, Texas, has been a starter for two seasons at TCU and played a big part in their NCAA Tournament journey last year. Lampkin averages 7.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Lampkin gave Bell his props after the game on social media.

WVU head coach Bob Huggins has praised Bell for his work ethic since he arrived back in May. Bell lost 80 pounds during the summer, working out four times a day. Huggins said that Wednesday’s game showed Jimmy’s hard work he’s put in.

“Jimmy was terrific, but you know, Jimmy is a guy who really cares. He’s a guy who works really hard,” Huggins said. “You know, when you think about a guy who came in here and lost the weight that he lost in order to be able to play, his skill level has gotten so much better.”

Bell knocked down 5-of-6 free throws which have been a problem for West Virginia in conference play. Prior to the TCU game, WVU missed 56 free throws in the first five games in the Big 12, which was the most in Division-I basketball during that stretch. Huggins thinks it’s pretty clear why Bell is knocking down his foul shots.

“He’s a guy who puts time in, and he really competes. He wants to be good,” Huggins said. “That’s because he puts time in. It’s a heck of a coincidence that the guys who put time in are better than the guys that don’t.”

Bell is averaging 6.4 points and 6.1 rebounds through his first 18 games for the Mountaineers.

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