Notre Dame hoops lands commitment from New Jersey PF Matt Zona

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

Another official visit come and gone, another verbal commitment for the Notre Dame men's basketball team.

Irish coach Mike Brey made it two-for-two this fall late Monday with the commitment of Matt Zona, a 6-foot-9. 235-pound power forward from Bergen Catholic (N.J. ) High School. A native of Oradell, N.J., Zona committed to Notre Dame over the likes of Brown, Davidson, George Washington and Harvard. He also made official visits to Penn State and Rutgers and was set to visit Vanderbilt.

Zona is considered a three-star prospect by 247Sports and Rivals.

He earned third team All-North New Jersey honors last season for a Bergen Catholic team that finished 27-4. He was a high school teammate of fellow power forward Zach Freemantle, now a freshman at Xavier.

Zona, who could not immediately be reached for comment, made the announcement Monday night on Twitter, saying he was "110 percent committed." He's the second power forward to commit to the Irish this month. Over the weekend of Sept. 14, Notre Dame received an official visit and subsequent commitment from Philadelphia native Elijah Taylor.

Taylor, also a three-star recruit, and Zona will sign their national letters of intent in early November. The frontcourt is a recruiting priority for the Irish, who lose All-Atlantic Coast Conference power forward John Mooney to graduation in the spring. They also could return as many as five players on the perimeter for 2020-21.

Notre Dame might add at least one more power forward to a recruiting class that also includes combo guard Cormac Ryan, a transfer from Stanford who will sit out the 2019-20 season and have three years of eligibility remaining.

Notre Dame is among the finalists for Hunter Dickinson, a four-star power forward from DeMatha Catholic (Md.) High School. Dickinson made an official visit to Notre Dame last fall. The 7-foot-2, 255-pounder may return to campus next month for another visit before making a final decision.

Notre Dame has three scholarships still remaining to offer high school seniors or eventual college transfers. With the addition of Ryan, the Irish have eight players set to return for the 2020-21 season. That includes guard Nik Djogo and power forward Juwan Durham, each of whom have fifth-year options.

The Irish also have one player committed to the class of 2021 — South Bend Saint Joseph small forward J.R. Konieczny.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has verbal commitments from two high school senior power forwards after adding New Jersey's Matt Zona late Monday.