Over the course of the season, DraftExpress will be breaking down prospects from the less heralded conferences across the NCAA, analyzing exactly what makes these players prospects, and why they may end up on the NBA radar.
Many of these prospects will face an uphill battle, but we will try to provide insight into what exactly separates those who make it and those who don't, while shedding light on some of the country's lesser-known players that could end up becoming second-round/training camp sleepers.
We'll look at both upperclassmen and underclassmen, analyzing players who are intriguing for the 2017 NBA Draft, as well as prospects who need more time to develop, but could be intriguing in the future. This week we break down Montana State sophomore Tyler Hall, who plays in the Big Sky Conference.DX Mid-Major Prospect Watch
-Ohio University's Antonio Campbell
-Northern Iowa's Jeremy Morgan
-Southeast Missouri State's Antonius ClevelandTyler Hall grew up in Rock Island, Illinois, an Iowa border town with a population of less than 40,000 that is considered one of the Quad Cities. The son of two former Augustana College players, Henry and Laura Hall, the sharp-shooting guard had a late rise to basketball relevance, as he stood only 5' 9” his freshman year and didn't play varsity basketball at Rock Island High School until his junior season, when he shot up to 6' 4”.
Rock Island High School isn't exactly a basketball powerhouse, as the only other players in the DratExpress database to come out of the school are former Stanford guard and current Sixers signee, Chasson Randle, as well as Dallas Mavericks 2000 2nd round draft pick and former Euroleague player Pete Mickeal.
A scorer who grew up playing a lot of point guard, Hall eventually earned a bit of buzz after a big summer (before his junior season) as the focal point of Quad City Elite's AAU team, a smaller club that hasn't produced many big names save for Wisconsin's Ethan Happ.
Then-Oregon assistant Brian Fish, friends of Quad City Elite coach Darren Bizarri, was on Hall early and often, trying to convince Dana Altman and the Ducks to offer Hall before any high major schools caught wind of the scoring guard. Before Oregon offered, Fish took the head coaching job at Montana State and continued to come hard at Hall, who committed to the Bobcats after his first visit.
In the end Hall, who also received some interest from Iowa, turned down offers from a host of other schools from varying levels – Ball State, Nevada, Northern Arizona to name a few – to play for Fish and the Bobcats.
Two years into his career in Bozeman, and Hall has quickly transformed into the country's second-leading scorer, arguably the NCAA's most dynamic shooter, and a legitimate NBA Draft prospect once his college career is in the books – all before even turning 20 years old. Through 17 games this season, Hall is averaging 24.1 points per game on 54.8% shooting from two and 42.3% from three, on an absurd 9.2 attempts per game. To put those numbers into perspective, only five other players since 2000 have averaged over 24 points per game in a season before turning 20 years old – Michael Beasley, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Rodney Stuckey, and Keydren Clark (Saint Peter's).
Hall, who turns 20 on March 25, is clearly not on the same level as some of the aforementioned names, and his success has come mostly in the underwhelming Big Sky Conference, but the Rock Island kid is having a borderline historic season for his age, especially when you take into account how efficiently he's doing it, along with his starting point.
So how will Hall's game translate to the NBA? His dynamic shot making, basketball IQ and potential to develop into more than just a shooter could catapult him into NBA Draft status after a couple of more years in Bozeman.
WHY HE COULD MAKE IT
He's a dynamic shooter and scorer at the collegiate level, but after scouting Hall live and on film each of the last two years, he still has a couple years of improvement ahead of him before realistically being able to stick in the NBA. Find out where Hall needs to progress in order to maximize his NBA potential.