Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Jared Rhoden, the 6-foot-6, 205-pound shooting guard from Our Saviour Lutheran (NY) School and the NY Lightning, committed to Seton Hall on Saturday evening, he told ZAGSBLOG.
Rhoden also considered Saint Louis, Penn State and Wichita State. He was coming off an official to Penn State last weekend and previously visited Saint Louis (Sept. 29), Wichita State (Oct. 6) and Seton Hall (Oct. 13).
“I chose Seton Hall because they had best balance in what I was looking for as a student-athlete,” he said. “I would be able to play in the Big East Conference against the best talent in the country as well as with my fellow teammates who would get me better.
“Seton Hall also has an amazing business school which is something I’ve always wanted to major in. Seton Hall in all just felt like home. My relationship with coach [Shaheen] Holloway and coach [Kevin] Willard was natural as well as my relationship with the players. Also being able to stay home and play in front of my family almost every game was important as well.”
His Lightning teammate, point guard Anthony Nelson, committed to Seton Hall on Tuesday night.
Seton Hall also has a pledge from Montverde (FL) Academy big man Darnell Brodie in 2018.
“Right after [Nelson] committed he called me and we had a long talk about how our future would look together,” Rhoden said. “We’ve always talked about playing together but never really took it seriously until we realized we both wanted to go to the same place.”
Playing on the Nike EYBL Circuit, Rhoden averaged 14.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 21 games.
According to 247Sports.com, Rhoden is ranked N0. 138 in the class of 2018 and the No. 3 player in the state of New York.
With the departure of several seniors, including wing Desi Rodriguez, Rhoden could slot into that position beginning in 2018-19.
“Jared is wired to score,” Lightning director Dana Dingle said on The 4 Quarters Podcast. “He’s 6-6 long, lanky with a 7-foot wing span. He can score the ball, shoot the three ball. Has a great mid-range, one-two dribble-pullup, can score in the mid post. And he can rebound the ball. He plays with a high motor but he’s definitely wired to score.
“He’s relatively unknown outside of Long Island, but the rest of the country really got a chance to see his ability to score against anybody.”
“The skill set I bring is versatility,” Rhoden said. “Coach always tells me they are losing Desi Rodriguez and need somebody to fill in that spot [on the wing] and says the opportunity is mine if I approach it properly.”
Dingle thinks Seton Hall’s recruiting momentum is on the upswing based on appearing in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, with a chance for a third straight.
“I think definitely because one thing, kids want to win,” Dingle said. “And kids are watching, especially kids in your back yard and kids that want to stay home and love to win while they’re home. After making the NCAA Tournament consecutive years, that’s nothing but a plus because kids will say, ‘Well, why go here when I can play and still make the tournament and win and be on TV?’, rather that in the past that was one of the things that hurt them. It hurt St. John’s, the fact that kids don’t see the chance to make the tournament. But once you start making the tournament, you become way more appealing to a better level of talent. And I think they’ve done a great job of maximizing that and continuing with the great success they’ve had in recent years.”
Said Rhoden: “My goal in college is pretty straight forward. I want to win on the biggest level and get a chance to become the best person possible on and off the court.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.