There’s no empirical evidence that ties the length of Carl Hall’s hair to the success of the Wichita State men’s basketball team, but it’s going to take some time to adjust to seeing the 6-8 senior with a buzz cut in this year’s NCAA tournament.
Hall unveiled the new look at a press conference Wednesday, trading what had become his signature dreadlocks for the much shorter buzz. But, Hall had his reasons.
“I just wanted to try something different. I wanted to get my hair cut to surprise the team,” Hall told Kansas.com. “They weren’t expecting me to cut it.”
In the video found here from Kansas.com, Hall tells a funny anecdote about going to a barber in Wichita to get the cut done. Hall says the barber recognized him and was tentative about following through with his request.
“He knew what I was asking, but he didn’t want to do it. He was like, ‘Carl I don’t want to cut your hair.’ He kept asking like, ‘Are you sure this is what you want to do?’ He asked me like 10 times and I was like, ‘Yeah, man, just cut it.’
Hall does admit that he initially had second thoughts about the drastic change, but he’s now moving on with his team to face No. 8-seeded Pittsburgh Thursday in the Round of 64 of the NCAA tournament.
Wichita State will have to deal with one of the toughest defenses in the country when it squares off against Pittsburgh, combined with one of the least-turnover prone offenses. When the Shockers struggled part of the way through their conference schedule, it was because Hall and Cleanthony Early were unable to get heavily involved in the offense. Pittsburgh will try to eliminate them again Thursday.
The winner moves on to play the winner of No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 16 Southern.