Notre Dame incoming freshman big man Matt Zona has been named the New Jersey Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Zona led Bergen Catholic to a 22-7 record in his final season, scoring 14.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and two assists per game in his final season. The 6-9 big man finished his career with 1,237 career points.
Notre Dame was in desperate need of big men in the 2020 class, which makes Zona and classmates Elijah Taylor and Tony Sanders Jr. important signees. Zona provides a unique skillset that Notre Dame could use, and his game is ideally suited for the Irish system.
“Zona is probably not ranked very high because he’s not an explosive athlete, but this is a highly-skilled big man. The first thing that stands out when I watch Zona on film is how much upside he has from a body standpoint. He has a great frame with a thick lower body, and after he gets a year or two in the Notre Dame strength program he’s going to be a powerfully built young man.
“The second thing that stands out with Zona is his shooting touch. He has legitimate three-point range, possessing a high, quick release, and he can knock down triples from the baseline, the wings and the top of the key. He’s not a guy that’s going to create open deep looks off the dribble, but he can catch and shoot, he can spot up and if you over-play him he has enough handle to put it on the floor and attack the basket.
“The Bergen Catholic standout has a nice step back jumper down in the post, and he shows the ability to play with his back to the basket. Zona is also an adept passer from the post, and he shows good vision for cutters when he’s playing the high-post. He has soft hands and a great feel for the game.
“Zona isn’t explosive or fast, but he is light on his feet and shows a fluid spin move around the basket. Like Taylor, he doesn’t get a lot of lift, but he has excellent length and shows an impressive ability to block shots and not get a body on the shooter."
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