BOZEMAN – The deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft passed on Wednesday and Tyler Hall made up his mind about his basketball future.
Hall will put his NBA dreams on hold and return to Montana State. After workouts with the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks, Hall did not receive the first-round or second-round evaluation he hoped for. But MSU head coach Brian Fish still believes Hall is an NBA talent and he will just get one more year to grow.
“I would say what he gained and his family gained is huge, too, and getting an opportunity to do that and now he can reset and take what they told him and apply it to this upcoming season,” said Fish.
And now that Hall has had a taste of the next level, it’s time for him to incorporate that into his college game.
“He’s had his eyes open to a level of basketball that he has to bring back to the locker room and share with the guys of the commitment that those (NBA) guys at that level play at. I’m looking for him to come back and be stronger and better, be a leader,” said Fish.
But after his senior season, Hall may try for the pros again, and the NBA may just welcome him this time.
“The one thing they told him was that he’s not wasting his time, that there is a chance to play at that level,” Fish said.
While Hall is returning to Bozeman, Devonte Klines, who also declared for the NBA Draft, will forgo his senior season and pursue his professional dreams. The junior, who averaged seven points per game last season, did not receive any workouts from NBA teams, so he will try to a different path.
“It’s good, I think he’s got a chance to make some money overseas if he works, and hopefully he does it and we can help him any way we can,” said Fish. “Because it’s my job as a coach and teacher to try and help these guys chase their careers, and hopefully we can help him get something overseas.”
Even though Klines may have not posted the numbers Hall did this past season, Fish cited some things you can’t measure on a stat sheet that make Klines a solid player on the floor, like his work ethic, his training and fearlessness on the floor. Klines’ strength also resides on defense where many times this year he was selected to guard some of the top scorers in the Big Sky Conference.
Fish admitted that it is hard to plan for an upcoming season with the new NBA rule that allows players to test the draft waters without hiring an agent, allowing them the option to return to college. But the departure of Klines frees up a valuable asset to the Bobcat basketball program.
“Having a scholarship available is really a place I wanted to be at and see what we could do and see what is out there,” said Fish.
Montana State has already brought in some talent this offseason in Livingston native and Sheridan College transfer Ladan Ricketts and transfer Russell Daniels from Southwestern Florida College. MSU also grabbed international freshman Max Schuecker from Melbourne, Australia, who spent the past three seasons playing for Redwell Gunners Oberwart, a team in the professional Bundeslig in his native country.
When asked what need the Bobcats will try to fill with that additional scholarship Klines leaves behind, Fish did not put any emphasis on a position. Simply put, he is looking for “the best avaiilable” player on the market.