Class of '24 forward Matthew Hodge excels at Philly Live, updates recruitment | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / July 16.
  • Class of ’24 forward Matthew Hodge excels at Philly Live, updates recruitment

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    By RICH FLANAGAN

    PHILADELPHIA — One minute there was silence through the gymnasium at St. Joseph’s Prep. The next, a thunderous dunk followed by a reverberating rim echoed for all those seated courtside to hear and witness.

    That mammoth slam came from Matthew Hodge, a forward with the height and body of a Division I freshman who recently completed his first high school basketball season here in the U.S after emigrating from Belgium where he was born and raised. The 6-foot-8, 210-pound rising senior at St. Rose in Belmar, N.J. was one of the main attractions at Philly Live this weekend and captured the attention of several head and assistant coaches throughout the weekend.

    He burst onto the scene in year one at St. Rose (N.J.) under the direction of former Villanova guard Brian Lynch and is playing for the PSA Cardinals on the Nike EYBL circuit. His play has garnered the attention of high major programs across the country.

    “After the first few AAU sessions, they all came in and have been working aggressively to recruit me,” Hodge said.

    Hodge had 20 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals in a 54-33 win over St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio) on Saturday and then torched St. John’s College (D.C.) for 42 points later in the afternoon at Jefferson University just down the road.

    New Temple head coach Adam Fisher watched as Hodge dazzled and dominated in both performances as did others including Seton Hall head coach Shaheen Holloway and Miami (Fla.) assistant DJ Irving. Fisher later offered Hodge following that 40-point performance and St. Bonaventure also formally offered him shortly afterward as did George Washington.

    Those two have been added to an offer list that includes Northern Iowa, Seton Hall, St. Mary’s, Davidson, Penn State, Monmouth, Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Old Dominion, which was his first offer and is also the alma mater of his father, Odell. Hodge will take an official to Old Dominion beginning Tuesday.

    Matthew Hodge faced off against one of the top 2025 prospects in 6-11 Imani Christian forward Alier Maluk on Sunday in a marquee matchup that featured numerous high-major coaches in new Penn State head man Mike Rhoades along with assistants from Virginia, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Xavier, Temple, Lehigh, Monmouth, Holy Cross, and Northern Iowa. Richmond and George Mason were also there at Philly Live to watch him play and Hodge confirmed that Florida State joined the fold this past week.

    Rhoades is one of many coaches eager to bring him into their program.

    “Everyone is on the same level, but St. Mary’s is pretty heavy,” Hodge said. “Maryland, Penn State and Virginia Tech have been pushing. Old Dominion, of course.”

    Randy Bennett has had tremendous success bringing in international prospects at St. Mary’s with Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Jock Landale, Matthias Tass, and most recently Alex Ducas. Old Dominion has the familiarity from his father, who ranks third all-time in program history in points, rebounds, and blocked shots. Seton Hall will give him the opportunity to continue playing in N.J. and join the Big East as Holloway’s biggest commitment to date. His rapid rise all stems from his stellar play this past season.

    He averaged 14.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 blocks per game in helping St. Rose (N.J.) win the NJSIAA South Non-Public B title for the first time in 19 years. Hodge is the biggest reason behind the Purple Roses’ resurgence. He posted 19 points and eight rebounds against a loaded Roselle Catholic team highlighted by Mackenzie Mgbako (Indiana), Simeon Wilcher (St. John’s) and Akil Watson (Arizona State) in the Non-Public B final.

    Hodge showcased all the facets that make him such an intriguing prospect this weekend. He took a pass and turned the corner for a two-handed dunk, then later hammered another home in transition, exhibiting his sensational athleticism and motor. He drilled an outside jumper from the wing and displayed his fluid shooting form. He attacked the glass with grit and converted through contact. He led the break on a few occasions and found teammates for open jumpers in comfortable spots. He has great timing as a rim protector and allows his teammates, like his brother 2026 6-5 guard Jayden Hodge, to pressure the ball and not worry about getting beat. He played like the best big man at the event with fellow high-level prospects all over the gym and high-level coaches looking on.

    For Lynch, his versatility has catapulted him into a player coaches will be disappointed to miss.

    “He doesn’t have a position,” Lynch said. “I joked with him the other day and said on my ideal team I would put him as a combo guard because he’s that skilled… Everybody wants to play with him because if you get beat, Matt blocks the shot and if you’re open in the corner, Matt finds you.”

    Hodge will play this summer with the PSA Cardinals to see if any additional offers will come in as he is at the height of his recruitment. He also set a deadline for when he will make his decision.

    “My goal is to commit in November, probably the end of November before the season starts.”

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    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.

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