Will the Bell Toll?

For Jermaine Bell, this could be his last chance. He's back at Notre Dame Prep and hoping that he can raise his grades enough to land a college scholarship.

This could be Jermaine Bell's last chance and he's hoping to take advantage of it.

The hard-to-keep-up-with 7-foot, 210-pound wiry forward was in attendance this past weekend after re-joining Bill Barton's Notre Dame Prep (Mass.) squad. However, Bell watched from the stands and won't be eligible to play until after the Thanksgiving break at the earliest.

There's no questioning Bell's talent. He's clearly a high-major player who would attract all the big-time schools if he can get his act together.

However, after leaving Notre Dame Prep a few months ago, he has been hanging out in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y., until persuading Barton to allow him back on the team.

``I'm just trying to get my work done and not even really thinking about college," Bell said. "School comes before hoop. I found that out the hard way."

Bell, who turns 20 in May, was even contemplating going overseas to play pro ball, but opted against it for a chance to play college ball.

``I'm going to try and stay away from home because that's been my downfall," he added. "There are just too many distractions. If I stay away, I can stay focused."

Bell, who has had an on-again, off-again affair with St. John's over the past couple years in which he's committed and de-committed on a couple of occasions, says that the Red Storm are still a possibility.

``They said they'll still be there if I get my grades up," Bell said. "They are still one of my favorites, along with Cincinnati and Syracuse."

``I know this is my last chance," he added. "But I'm going to get it done."

If he does, they'll be no shortage of suitors lining up in Fitchburg, Mass.

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