Top Recruit Josh Hall Declares for NBA Draft

Brett Friedlander

NC State basketball coach Kevin Keatts has continued to recruit for the 2020-21 season, even though his roster is already filled with the NCAA limit of 13 scholarship players.

Monday provided an indication of why.

Incoming freshman Josh Hall, the crown jewel of a Wolfpack recruting class ranked among the nation's top 10, announced via his Twitter account that he plans to enter the NBA draft process.

The 6-foot-9 wing, who is eligible for the draft as a fifth-year prep player, becomes the third State player to enter the draft. Like juniors D.J. Funderburk and Devon Daniels, Hall will retain his eligibility -- leaving open the option of attending school and playing for the Wolfpack.

Hall averaged 24 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while helping Moravian Prep to a 34-3 record last season. His status as one of the nation's top prospects was solidified in February, when he was one of 27 players to be selected to play in the Alan Iverson Roundball Classic all-star game in Wilmington, Del.

That game, scheduled for April 24, has since been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. With the NBA having also suspended all activities during the crisis, including potentially its pre-draft Combine and individual team workouts, it is not known how much of an evaluation Hall will be able to get from league scouts.

If Hall decides to stay in the draft, it will mark the second straight year in which a top signee has turned pro before ever playing a game for the Wolfpack.

A year ago at this time, Keatts lost five-star point guard Jalen Lecque, who eventually signed a free agent deal with the Phoenix Suns after going undrafted. He appeared in four games with the Suns, spending most of the season with the team's Northern Arizona G-League affiliate.

Although Keatts said he expects all eight of his returning players and five new recruits to be on the roster for the 2020-21 season, he has continued to look recruit just in case. Among the players he is reported to have shown interest in are Santa Clara transfer Trey Wertz, Virginia Tech transfer Landers Nolley and top junior college prospect El Ellis.

"We're talking to graduates, we're talking to different people,: Keatts said recently. " I know everybody loves to do the numbers game and they'll add up and say 'well, you've already got 13 guys and you've only got 13 scholarships.'

"In today's world, I can go to the (transfer) portal tonight and we could have five guys in the portal, not that it's going to happen. What if (someone tells Funderburk) he's a late first round guy or something happens with Devin? You have to continue to recruit just in case those situations happen."