Nevada lost a talented player from last season’s team as rising junior Josh Hall opted to transfer to Missouri State on Friday night.
The 6-foot-7 Hall is a former top-150 recruit who played a key part in the Wolf Pack’s postseason run as he elevated his play to average 13 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Hall also made the game-winning bucket to lift Nevada past No. 2 seed Cincinnati in the second round.
Although Hall picked up his play late in the year, he was coming off the bench most of his sophomore campaign as he averaged 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season.
Since Nevada took in some talented transfers, while players like Jordan Caroline and the Martin twins opted not to turn pro, it left head coach Eric Musselman with too many scholarship players for the 2018-19 season. It looks like some of those issues are now going away as Hall is leaving for Missouri State and graduate transfer guard Ehab Amin opted to decommit from the school.
Nevada is expected to be a preseason top-10 team next season with all of the talent they have returning to the roster, along with the addition of some new pieces like McDonald’s All-American big man Jordan Brown.
Hall will likely have to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules as he still has two years of eligibility remaining.
Since taking over as the head coach at Nevada this summer, Eric Musselman’s enjoyed a great deal of success on the recruiting front. Two talented transfers in guard Marcus Marshall and forward Leland King will take the floor in 2016-17, as will a freshman class that now has three commits.
Thursday afternoon four-star shooting guard Josh Hall verbally committed to the Mountain West program. The 6-foot-7 Hall, who attends Genesis Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia, announced the news via his Twitter account.
Hall, who last October committed to Rice, joins point guard Devearl Ramsey and power forward Kenneth Wooten in Nevada’s 2016 recruiting class. And in Hall and Ramsey, the Wolf Pack have their backcourt of the future with veterans such as Marshall (one season of eligibility remaining) and junior D.J. Fenner among those who can serve as a buffer of sorts as the freshmen get acclimated to Division I college basketball.
Hall’s a Los Angeles native who this summer played for the California Supreme grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit. Hall averaged 10.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, shooting just under 51 percent from the field in those games.
In the span of less than 15 hours, first-year head coach Mike Rhoades bolstered Rice’s recruiting class for both next year and the following one, securing a pair of verbal commitments.
On Friday night, Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported that three-star power forward Marquez Letcher-Ellis, of Montverde Academy (Florida) became the third 2015 pledge. The following morning, Genesis Academy (Virginia) shooting guard Josh Hall, who is listed as the No. 67 overall recruit in Class of 2016, according to Rivals, also decided to commit to the Owls.
Letcher-Ellis, the 6-foot-7 forward, joins fellow three-star recruits Connor Cashaw and Marcus Evans. Letcher-Ellis had offers from Clemson, DePaul, USC. He also held an offer and even took an official visit to VCU, a school where Rhoades served as an assistant coach to Shaka Smart for five seasons. During the summer, Letcher-Ellis averaged 9.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 14 games for DC Premier in the Under Armour Association.
Hall becomes the first member of Rice’s Class of 2016. The 6-foot-6 wing held offers from Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Nebraska and Oklahoma State.
Rhoades took over the Rice program in March after the school parted ways with Ben Braun following a last place finish in Conference USA.