Darrell Moody: Hall passes on Nevada for Missouri State
When it was announced Josh Hall was transferring to Missouri State five days ago, I was speechless.
Hall was coming off one of the best NCAA runs in the history. He was a huge contributor in the upset wins over Texas and Cincinnati. Against the Longhorns, he scored 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds, and in the improbable upset of Cincy, he hit a floater with seven seconds left.
Hall averaged 13 points a game in the three NCAA games, scoring in double figures in all three contests.
Hall becomes the third D-1 player to transfer to Missouri State, following in the footsteps of South Florida transfer Tulio De Silva and Texas Tech’s Josh Webster.
Hall didn’t talk to reporters after his decision, choosing instead to tweet out a general message.
“I have received nothing but support and love from my teammates, coach Musselman and all of Wolf Pack Nation,” Hall said. “I will always cherish my time in Reno, but I have decided to continue my basketball career at Missouri State University. I look forward to contributing whatever I can to MSU. I thank God for providing me another opportunity.”
Many feel Hall’s game-winner against Cincinnati is the biggest one in school history, allowing Nevada to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in 10 years.
The shot reminded me of one Ramon Sessions hit to beat Gonzaga in the Battle of the Seattle at Key Arena back in 2006. Sessions’ off-balance 3-pointer with no time left on the shot clock enabled Nevada to withstand Gonzaga, 82-74. The Pack played the last five minutes of the game without All-American Nick Fazekas who had fouled out. That was kind of signature game back then, because it proved the Pack could get it done for extended minutes without Fazekas against a quality opponent.
Hall’s shot was bigger because it came on the biggest stage of all, the NCAA Tournament.
Hall had some absolutely sensational games, and he had some disappointing games. Consistency was an issue, which led to inconsistent minutes. I do remember the win over UOP when he scored 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting, and his stroke that night rivaled that of Kendall Stephens, and that folks, is saying a whole lot because Stephens was one of the purest shooters ever to put on a basketball uniform.
Hall, despite his rail-thin frame, was a good rebounder, especially at the offensive end. And, he was a solid defender. He averaged 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds a contest.
His decision was strictly based on playing time.
A year ago, with just eight scholarship players on the roster much of the season, Hall could be plugged into the 1, 2, 3 or 4 spots depending on the situation. That wasn’t going to be the case this season with the addition of grad transfer Trey Porter, true freshmen Jordan Brown, K.J. Hymes and Vincent Lee, and redshirts Tre’Shawn Thurman, Corey Henson, Nisre Zouzoua, and Jazz Johnson.
Hall was slated for back-up minutes behind Jordan Caroline at small forward, and even then Muss could use either of the Martins at that spot.
Josh was a classy kid; a polite kid with a smile on his face all the time. I’m just glad he found a landing spot, though I wish he’d been able to stay in Reno.
While we are on the subject of Nevada basketball, the Pack has once again lost an assistant coach, as Johnny Jones left to become head coach at Texas Southern.
Honestly, I’m not sure that’s an upward move, but when you have run your own show like Jones did at LSU, it was only a matter of time before he got another opportunity.