Growing up in Rock Island, Illinois, Bobcat basketball’s freshman star Tyler Hall was used to competitive basketball. The allure of playing basketball started at a young age — his father and mother both played basketball at Augustana College in Rock Island. For Hall, basketball has always been his passion “Both parents played so I’ve been around basketball since I was born. I just have always been pushed to be better, having parents that know what to say. It’s not always what I want to hear but what I need to hear.”
After being a two-time all-state choice at Rock Island High School averaging 17.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists a game during his senior year, he was recruited by more than a dozen Division I programs. Again Hall looked to his parents for what he needed to hear and their advice was to look for a university that made him happy and comfortable. In order to meet those characteristics he first looked for a coach that made him feel that way and found it in MSU Head Coach Brian Fish. “I built a good relationship with Coach Fish and then being a laid back person I looked for the same in a University, and after visiting [Montana State] I felt it was a perfect fit,” Hall explained.
Hall is the first high profile recruit for Fish as he attempts to rebuild the basketball program. “When Coach Fish came here there was a plan in place, which is to turn the program around. That is something that I wanted to do. Coming from a smaller AAU team I just wanted to play for a team that is underrated. I wanted to be with a good group of guys that can beat the bigger schools.” The plan for improvement has already shown progress with an increase in record from 7-23 last year to 14-16 this year.
Hall’s freshman season has gone even better than expected, instantly showing off his ability to score against Hawai’i with 15 points. Each game he has improved, averaging 32.1 minutes, 19.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists. “I’m just trying to learn from every game, every situation possible. I have great teammates around me that have confidence in me. Which builds [my] confidence in me and coaches and people that are looking out for me. I just surrounded myself with positive people that help me with my game.”
So far the positive energy seems to be working, especially when Hall dominated against Southern Utah scoring a career high 36 points making five threes and was mentioned in a Sports Center highlight. While Hall was the centerpiece of the highlight he keeps the team in mind. “After going from winning seven games last year to being on ESPN this year is a pretty big step. It’s big for the school and our team.”
When the stage gets bigger Hall thrives. He showed that ability playing against the University of Montana when he scored 17 points in the first matchup and 30 in the second. Hall looked at ease despite the pressure that comes with the Brawl of the Wild. It appears that stellar performances on the big stage is something MSU can get used to as Hall continues his career as a Bobcat.