|Rod Hall Jr. scores 2 of his team high 16 points here|
Last night I watched Augusta native and former Laney Wildcat Rod Hall Jr. score a team leading16 points, dish out 4 assists, and nearly lead his Clemson Tigers to a win over UMass in the championship game of the Charleston Classic. Hall, the Tigers' Junior point guard, has been a major contributor since stepping on campus two seasons ago. He has carved out a niche for himself as a defensive stopper. And after five games, he is proving to be a reliable scoring option for this season's team.
Rod is averaging just under 12 points per contest, second on the team. And his best scoring nights have come in the team's three most competitive games (16 versus UMass, 14 versus South Carolina, and 13 versus Temple). Seeing him take and make jump shots consistently is great. I've known he can shoot from deep since he was making threes as a nine year old at the Dogwood Terrace Boys and Girls Club in Augusta. His patience and demeanor have served him well as he has taken the time over the past two seasons to learn to run an ACC team. Now he seems to be putting it all together for the 5-1 Tigers.
But as good as it is to see Rod playing well, it is so much better to see him doing well. There is not a kinder young man than "Junior." By the time he had led Laney to its second consecutive final four and signed a scholarship to play basketball at Clemson, he had reached "local celebrity" status in our town. But you would never know it by the way he carries himself. He is humble and focused on succeeding on and off the court. It is impossible to know him well and not love him.
And if there is any doubt about whether Rod's bigger offensive role will detract from his defensive performance, he held Chaz Williams (UMass's leading scorer at 18.4 ppg heading into the contest) to 4 points on one field goal Sunday!
*Below are some highlights I found on Clemson's website.