Monday, November 10, 2014

Rod Hall Explodes Late in Exhibition Opener

Hometown boy Rod Hall ended the first exhibition game of his senior season with a 9 point outburst spanning three possessions, putting Clemson comfortably ahead of Anderson College before the Tigers closed out the 62-36 win. I expect Rod to be the team leader this season. Here is a rundown of some of his accomplishments at Clemson:

Junior Season
- Only player to start all 36 games
- Team's second leading scorer (9.7 ppg)
- Team leader in assists (4.0 apg)

Sophomore Season
- Second on team in minutes played per game (29.8 mpg)
Team leader in assists (3.5 apg)

One reason I expect Rod to play so well this year is because I believe he is Clemson's best scorer.  And the Tigers need guys who can score.  In past seasons he has deferred to KJ McDaniels, Milton Jennings, Devin Booker, and Andre Young.  In doing so he has in effect chosen not to use a key facet of his game, the ability to shoot from deep.  Rod's athleticism, strength, and basketball IQ are obvious and he has employed them well as he has become the Tigers' most reliable player.  And each year he has gotten more comfortable pulling the trigger from the perimeter.  The season-by-season 3 point field goal attempts partially tell this story:

3 Point Field Goals Attempted by Season

2011-12:  5 three pt FG Attempts
2012-13:  9 three pt FG Attempts
2013-14:  67 three pt FG Attempts (made 33% of attempts)

2014-15 First Exhibition Game:  2-6 three pt FG

As you can see from the figures above, Rod didn't shoot threes his first two seasons.  His role was to defend, distribute the ball, and not make mistakes.  Last season he took on more of a scoring role, but the responsibility still rested on KJ McDaniels' shoulders.  He seemed to still be in the "set-up man" mode for much of Saturday's game, attempting only five field goals before his explosion midway through the second half.

After turning it on late, he had tallied 12 points on 8 field goal attempts.  That is highly efficient and the six three point field goal attempts were more than he has attempted in a single game since playing at Clemson.  But I believe he will soon become much more aggressive offensively.  Backcourt mate Jordan Roper shot 14 times Saturday, joining Hall in scoring 12 points.  Rod will probably soon be taking more shots and his confidence will grow.

I told his mom after the game I was hoping he would shoot more during the game's first 30 minutes.  She agreed.  And most importantly she said the coaching staff was shouting "shoot!" to him much of the game as well.  I am glad he eventually listened.  And I hope he continues to let it fly and that he shows Clemson fans that side of his game during his senior season.

And I plan to follow Rod's progress and post updates here.  These are Clemson games I will track in November (check back for updates):

Nov 14 - Clemson hosts FAMU
Nov 17 - Clemson hosts Winthrop
Nov 21-24 - Clemson plays four games in the St Thomas Classic in the Virgin Islands
Nov 28 - Clemson hosts High Point

***Here are some related posts from the past about Rod***

Nov 10, 2014
Rod Hall Explodes Late in Exhibition Opener

March 31, 2014
Michaux: Ex-Laney star Rod Hall helps light fire under Clemson basketball team
from the Augusta Chronicle

Nov 25, 2013
Rod Hall Jr. is on the Right Track

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