Friars Land Big Man

Providence College's frontline got a little bigger on Monday, when Ray Hall, a 6'11, 260 pound center, called the staff to verbal.

After receiving signed letters from three guards in November – Corey Lowe, Brian McKenzie and Jamal Barney – recruiting a frontcourt post player was a priority for the spring for PC. That need appears to be filled with the verbal by Denver, Colorado, center Ray Hall.

Hall, who will sign in the spring, is a rugged, physical low post player who is considered one of the best prospects in Colorado. At 260-270 pounds, Hall uses his size well and is active on the glass… and he should provide an immediate defensive presence inside for a team sorely lacking in that area.

The Friars began scouting Hall over the summer and continued their pursuit in the fall. An early January visit to Denver by the staff resulted in a Hall visit for the Louisville game on January 7th. The staff traveled back to Colorado during the week after Hall's visit, and the big man obviously was impressed with PC's persistence.

Hall's journey to becoming a Friar has been filled with interesting turns. As a junior at Mullen High in Denver, Hall was considered by many of the recruiting gurus to be one of the top center prospects in the nation. A mediocre showing in several spring events dropped his stock, although several high profile programs remained involved.

At one point, Hall's family moved to Southern California, and Hall was set to attend Artesia High, and even began playing for the team in some early summer events, but when Hall's father's job offer fell through, the family headed back to Denver and Hall was readmitted at Mullen High, where he is spending his senior year.

So far, Hall has averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Mustangs, who are ranked second in the state with a 6-0 league record and a 14-1 overall mark.

Hall's major weaknesses at this point are his athleticism, footspeed and leaping ability. However, his strengths are his relentless play on the glass, his foul line and in shooting ability, his bulk inside, and his passing. Right now, his defense may be ahead of his offense, and if he can stay in shape and improve his conditioning, PC may have one of the biggest steals around.

UCLA, USC, San Diego State and Gonzaga all pursued Hall, who adds much needed beef to the Friars frontcourt, as the Big East becomes even more physical. Equally important, by the time Hall arrives, Randall Hanke will be entering his junior year and Herbert Hill his senior year, so Ray Hall looks to be Providence's center of the future.

The Friars currently have two scholarships to give in the spring, with Hall in the fold. Look for PC to fill both, with the Friars – at this point - taking two of any combination of big forward Casey Crawford, and wings Tyrone Hanson, Lamont Ulmer and Tyrone Nash.

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