By Brandon Cruz
Wolf Pack Men’s Basketball received an important boost Oct. 5, 2016, when the NCAA ruled freshman wing player Josh Hall eligible for the ’16-’17 season.
6-foot-6, 190-pound Hall is being worked into the rotation following the NCAA’s acceptance of the Wolf Pack’s appeal. The NCAA originally marked Hall as ineligible due to the fact that he was homeschooled during his sophomore year of high school, which raised numerous red flags.
While this may have been the case, he is now one of nine players on the team who has a scholarship from the university, to help improve an on the rise Wolf Pack team. Hall’s eligibility adds a great deal of depth to the pack. “I do think we are a deeper team than we were last year,” head coach Eric Musselman said. Musselman went on to rave about Hall’s versatility, saying he can play the one through four spots, if need be.
Hall has travelled a long way to play for the Wolf Pack. He is from Houston where he played basketball at Genesis Academy. While it may have been a ways away from home, Hall was all-in early, committing to the University of Nevada, Reno on Oct. 15, 2015.
Upon hearing of Hall becoming eligible, Musselman contacted his staff late night. “I sent texts to the staff from 2:42 a.m. to about 5:15 because I couldn’t sleep,” Musselman said. This just speaks to the impact that Musselman and his staff believe Hall could have on the team this season.
Musselman’s faith in Hall is not misled. According to Future150’s scouting report of Hall, he has an immense amount of skills that will prove useful to the Wolf Pack. Some of his major strengths are his athleticism, ability to score on all three levels, ambidextrous scoring and his ball-handling. Future150 went on to say he has great versatility and is a strong 3-point shooter, which the Pack could use after a lackluster performance in that category a year ago.
Along with Hall, the Pack has added quite a few new players to the roster this season. While they are still waiting to hear about their appeal status regarding sophomore forward John Carlson, they’ll finally begin cashing in on their transfers from a season ago. Marcus Marshall, Jordan Caroline and Leland King are now all eligible, adding good depth to this years Nevada squad. The team also added one more top-150 recruit in 5-foot-10 point guard Devearl Ramsey.
With all of these players becoming eligible, it can be hard to see where Hall might fit in, but Musselman has been thoroughly impressed by the play of Hall up to this point. “Josh has been the biggest surprise,” said Musselman. “He just keeps playing better and better… And he can play four positions.” Hall’s improvement over such a small time period, along with his proven versatility looks to give him a strong chance at contributing to the Nevada Wolf Pack early in his career.
Brandon Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.