Johnson Central forward Shane Hall had fans of the Golden Eagles believing in an upset for the first few minutes of Thursday night’s game against No. 1 Ballard.
Hall poured in 19 points in the first 13 minutes, and lightly regarded Johnson Central got the better of the Sweet Sixteen-favorite Bruins for much of the first half. Then the situation corrected itself, and Ballard coasted to a 75-54 victory in Rupp Arena.
Hall’s solid play held up throughout the contest. The 2014 prospect was 10-for-11 from the field and scored a game-high 28 points to go with eight rebounds.
“I felt like I played as hard as I could,” he said. “They really bodied me up in the second half, but I’ve dealt with it the whole year. I was ready for it.”
Hall has been hobbled by injuries the entire season and said he felt “about 85 percent” Thursday night. With both ankles bothering him, the 6-foot-9 forward said he would like to get fully healthy before he hits the AAU circuit.
His summer plans include a couple of tournaments with the Louisville Magic.
Not much has changed with Hall’s recruitment. He’s still in regular contact with Butler, Tennessee, UAB and Northern Kentucky, which have all offered scholarships.
Tennessee’s Cuonzo Martin was expected to be at Thursday’s game, and Hall said Martin seemed like “a fun coach” to play for. He was in the stands at Thompson–Boling Arena last month for the Volunteers’ rout of Kentucky.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I was next to the pep section, so it was loud.”
Hall has also visited Butler and liked what that school had to offer.
“I just like the way the coaches coach them and the way the players play for them,” he said. “And they’re all good kids. None of them are bad kids at all. (Brad Stevens) seems like a really great coach. He’s not really like a loud person, but he’s really serious.”
UK and Louisville have yet to make a serious run at Hall, who has no timetable to take his official visits and said he has no plans to commit to a school anytime soon.