Jordan Hall (above) will be returning to St. Joe's this fall, CoBL has confirmed. (Photo courtesy Atlantic 10)
Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Suddenly, the future looks awfully bright again on Hawk Hill.
Two months and two days after entering the transfer portal, Jordan Hall is coming back to Philly. The Neumann-Goretti product and emerging NBA prospect had announced back in late April that he was departing Saint Joseph’s following a breakthrough freshman year citing personal reasons, Tweeting that it was “best to leave the Philadelphia area for the remainder of my college career.”
There was a commitment to Texas A&M a week later, then a testing of the NBA Draft waters for the 6-foot-8 point guard, who opened a lot of eyes with his play in his first and only collegiate season thus far.
It was clear his future was very much up in the air, but it still came as a shock to many when a report surfaced Wednesday afternoon — and CoBL has confirmed — that Hall will return to St. Joe’s for his sophomore year.
"Right now I don't have a lot of answers for you,” Hall told The Athletic’s C.J. Holmes in a statement Holmes put on Twitter. “Based on the feedback I got and how this whole process went, I'm just going to go back to St. Joe's. Home is where the love is, so that's where I'm going to go."
It’s a major piece of positive news for the Hawks and head coach Billy Lange, who looked like he had landed a major building block in the South Jersey native based on his play his rookie year. Hall averaged 10.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 5.7 apg, showing off tremendous upside as a three-level scorer and playmaker who fits the modern concept of positionless basketball, a major reason he had gotten on the radar of NBA scouts as the season went on.
Hall got stronger and stronger as the season went on; over his final eight games, Hall averaged 15.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg and 4.5 apg, shooting 46.8% overall and 47.7% from beyond the 3-point arc.
His return should help St. Joe’s build on a 5-15 (3-9 A10) season, as the Hawks now return the majority of their production behind graduated senior Ryan Daly (18.5 ppg/6.0 rpg).
Hall, who will still be a freshman by eligibility due to the NCAA’s COVID waiver, and fifth-year redshirt junior wing forward Taylor Funk (17.4 ppg/5.7 rpg) will lead a group that also includes third-year sophomore Jack Forrest (10.4 ppg/3.3 rpg), third-year sophomore Cameron Brown (8.6 ppg/3.5 rpg) and more, with four-star freshman Erik Reynolds (Bullis School, Md.) joining the fray.
Without Hall in the mix, it was a group that still had promise to improve, especially with transfer forwards Charles Coleman (East Carolina) and Ejike Obinna (Vanderbilt) and freshman Kacper Klaczek (Long Island Lutheran, N.Y.) all on board as well. But the return of the pro prospect should immediately help launch the Hawks into the upper half of the A-10 preseason poll, and Lange has the pieces to make a real move up the league standings in his third year at the helm.
CoBL will have more on this story as it becomes available