There are two vaguely basketball related reasons why Kent State and MAC basketball fans should expect a huge season from Jimmy Hall.
The first is that he has been featured on the Kent State youtube channel with an interview style self-titled show. Mid-major schools that want to elevate the profile of a star player to go interesting measures to get the names out and that is what Kent State did here. Jimmy sits down with the host of incoming players and more or less introduces them to the fanbase. While seemingly a small gesture by the Kent State basketball program to give Jimmy this kind of platform, it certainly shows that he has a leadership role within the team and highlights a problem of an incredible amount of incoming players.
That leads me to the second point which may end up being, well just slightly more basketball related and that is head coach Rob Senderoff said at media day that once Kent State cross half court, Jimmy will be the de facto point guard. Because of the unknowns at point guard (I believe there will emerge a capable option), Jimmy will be leaned on heavily to initiate a good deal of the offense from the high post.
As his strengths aren’t necessarily taking players off the dribble, expect the Kent State offense to be built around isolations from Jimmy in the high post and down on the block. Obviously, this could mean an uptick in the volume in usage rate Jimmy can expect to shoulder.
It is strange to think of an offense becoming even more dependent on one player, seeing as Kent State already somewhat ran through Jimmy. He took over 100 more shots than Kellon Thomas who came in second and Thomas was the only player even close a year ago. All of this to say, Jimmy Hall could be in for a historic statistical season for the Golden Flashes.
For better or worse, the Kent State hopes will come down to how well Jimmy plays this season and how consistently he can play. Fortunately, Jimmy was excellent night in and night out a year ago so there is a good reason to be optimistic.
A year ago, Jimmy averaged a healthy 16.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. Those assist numbers should be highlighted as with an increase of less than an assist per game, Jimmy would be ranked in the top 15 in the conference. That isn’t much of a stretch considering the increase in playmaking responsibility.
It should also be noted that those numbers were not just a product of piling on against the dregs of non-conference weaklings and conference bottom dwellers. Jimmy was markedly consistent throughout the season. In only two games Jimmy did not score in double figures and in the biggest games against Akron, he averaged 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds. It should be noted in one of the non-double figure scoring games, against the University of Louisiana-Monroe, Kent State won by 11 and Jimmy only took six shots.
To sum this all up, Jimmy Hall, a two-time First Team All-MAC forward will likely lead the Kent State Golden Flashes in the three biggest stats, points, rebounds, and assists. On top of that, he has a shot to rank in the top five of the first two of those categories and in the top ten in assists in the entire conference.
As Jimmy goes so goes Kent State.