6’8” 2020 PJ Hall – It’s In his Genes
Dorman HS (SC)
By Jamie Shaw
Dorman High School is the defending South Carolina state 5A champion. This is South Carolina’s largest classification of schools, and the team was loaded. So loaded in fact that the school’s best long-term prospect played on JV.
The fact Paul “PJ” Hall was on JV shouldn’t come as a surprise, the varsity had 7 college level players playing on it, including now graduated 6’7” Tae Cannon (Catawba) and 6’4” Zach Butler (Ohio) as well as 6’9” 2018 prospect Gabe Bryant who is now choosing between his 15+ Division 1 offers. However, it is almost inevitable that Hall would become a great athlete, in his time.
Hall’s sister, Thayer, who is 6’3”, is the top US volleyball prospect in 2018 class and committed to play at Florida. Just this last year she was awarded the U20 Pan Am Cup MVP (playing for Team USA) as well as Max Prep’s Female Athlete of the Year (awarded to one prep female regardless of sport). Hall’s mother (who is 6’2”) played basketball collegiately at College of Charleston while Hall’s father (who is 6’8”) played basketball collegiately at Wofford and is currently a collegiate official.
After watching Hall extensively this summer, the talent and upside was immediate and easy to see. National Analyst Jeff Bendel wrote extensively about Hall saying, “Sometimes in life, the stage is set and all the tools are provided for a player to be exceptional. It would appear to be the case here with the Dorman native. Upon the first time seeing Hall, it was almost an outright certainty that he would emerge into a HM-level player sooner than later. At six-foot-eight, he has more ways to hurt opponents on the court than many realize. Hall is already a force in the low post, showing the ability to finish with either hand from either block incredibly well; he has a vast array of tricky counters and ball fakes that warrant him easy buckets. He’s far more patient (with or without the ball) than a heavy majority of big men around the country and knows when to defer versus take it himself. In the two-man game, Hall is as close as they come to unstoppable; he is a great screen-setter with phenomenal rolling and popping capabilities. Most guys his age and height don’t possess the proper coordination or frame to carry out the game like he does. Hall is an efficient scorer on all three levels and has supreme confidence in his scoring ability (as he should). The vision he showcases is terrific; Hall has displayed the ability to handle the ball in transition and his decision-making abilities are beyond his years. His IQ is already at an elite level, along with almost every other facet of his game. Defensively, Hall understands how to use his IQ and length as well as anyone, and is able to single-handedly shut down an opposing fast break. He is very fundamental on the glass, boxing out every single time while looking to secure each rebound with two hands. Both of his parents are tall, former D1 athletes, and his sister is one of the top volleyball players in the country. For Hall to become anything other than a superstar would be uncharacteristic, especially given his advanced basketball abilities and genetic gifts.”
This year, Hall will be asked to play a role for Dorman High School, in their quest to defend their state championship. It will be a good situation for Hall, as he will not be tasked with overtaking the majority of the big man minutes as the aforementioned Gabe Bryant will still be around. He wears a size 17 shoe and blended with his long arms and youth, one would Hall still may be growing. That is the scary part, given his already advanced skill set.
Hall has great footwork and understanding on the block. He displays consistent ability to go over both shoulders, with great pace once he catches the ball. He is able to find his spot on the floor and keep you on his hip. Hall has great length and easy vertical explosion. Naturally he is one of the greatest ever to do it, so we are not saying he is as good as him, but Hall’s game style is similar to Tim Duncan’s with his fundamental base, great length, pace of play and vertical athleticism.
Hall has yet to be a full time member of Dorman’s varsity team, he played locally with the Upward Stars Upstate program so he is flying under the radar. All of that will soon change. He will be attending the South Carolina Top 80 exposure camp where he will compete with, and against, the state’s top prospects. He will step into a role for Dorman High School as all eyes will be on them as they defend their state title.
As Jeff mentioned above, Hall is a player high major programs need to be looking at. He has it in his DNA to succeed and his game is so fundamentally based. Monitor closely, the blow up is inevitable.