Clemson, not USC, makes final cut for top 2020 in-state hoops prospect

One in-state school made the final cut for P.J. Hall, the state’s top ranked high school basketball player in South Carolina for Class of 2020.

The Dorman senior released his final five schools on Friday evening. Clemson was one of the five teams to make the list but the Gamecocks didn’t make it. The other four schools on Hall’s list were Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Florida and Georgia Tech.

“We were talking about really seeing the Gamecocks, but I just thought in my head I wouldn’t be happy and I didn’t want to waste their time,” Hall said to Phil Kornblut. “I’m just moving on to the other options.”

Hall told 247Sports that it was between South Carolina and Georgia Tech for the fifth school. He also didn’t list a favorite among his five schools.

“I’ve always just had a great relationship with the five schools,” Hall told 247Sports. “I’ve built a relationship with them over the past year. I’ve gone to each school and every time I’ve been there, I’ve felt a great family environment. Just having a strong relationship with the coaches and knowing that if I went there, I’d be effective in the system and be effective for the team.”

Hall has taken official visits to Florida and Clemson this year and an unofficial to South Carolina. Hall’s sister, Thayer, is a standout volleyball player at Florida.

Hall took advantage of the new recruiting rules that allow five official visits as a junior and then five more as a senior. So the two he’s already taken don’t cut into the total he can take as a senior.

Hall’s official visits are planned for the fall. He will visit Clemson and Florida in September, Virginia Tech and Tennessee in October and Georgia Tech in November.

Clemson and USC both have recruited Hall heavily as a priority. Each watched him closely throughout this summer and each has detailed out how he could excel in its program.

“Both are saying how they’ll let me play in their system,” Hall said at the SC High School League Scholastic Basketball Event in June. “At Clemson, I got the chance to watch them practice and what they’re doing is really flowing to the elbow, and they were saying how that’s how I would flourish in the games. South Carolina, they would let me play on the perimeter, but still keep me down low.”

Hall doesn’t have a timeline for making a decision but would like to do before his senior season starts.

The 6-foot-9 Hall ranked as a four-star prospect and in the top 75 by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals. Coaches and recruiting analysts love Hall’s ability to play both inside and his shooting touch from the outside.

Hall has shined during his summer season, participating in the NBA Top 100 camp and with the Upward Stars, his AAU team. Upward Stars is wrapping up their summer season at the Adidas Gauntlet Finale in Los Angeles.

“Playing great at #gauntletseries. Fundamentally sound big man, who does not like to lose with a legitimate three point shot,” ESPN national recruiting director Paul Biancardi said of Hall on Twitter. “PJ Hall has developed into one of the top post players in the class. Fundamentally sound on the blocks with footwork & touch. Makes 3’s & never forgets about the glass..”

As a junior at Dorman, Hall averaged 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game, for the three-time defending Class 5A state champions.