A Changing Objective

Change has been a common factor in Devon Hodges' basketball-playing life. From switching schools to teams to playing styles, it only made sense that before Hodges makes his biggest change to date, the 6-foot-7 forward wanted to make sure he was heading the right direction.

MADISON - There was nobody from the University of Wisconsin coaching staff pushing him aside. There was no urging by another college coach to give his school a closer look. No parents, coaches or friends pushing or pulling him in a certain direction.

When Devon Hodges decided that he needed to take a second look at his recruitment, it was a decision that was 100 percent his call.

"Me and my parents were talking about my recruitment for awhile and when I told them (that I was de-committing), they were supporting, even though they are Wisconsin fans," Hodges said. "I am a Wisconsin fan, too, but I was just 15 at the time (when I made my decision).

"I am not saying that I am leaving Wisconsin but I am going to be a senior now. I was a sophomore when I made that decision and a lot has changed."

The change has been a gradual one for Hodges. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward has played on three AAU teams in three seasons and has jumped around in high school, transferring from Romeoville to Bolingbrook after his sophomore year due to a family move.

Once he got settled, Hodges averaged 10.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season and started to feel his game finally start to progress forward.

"This was probably the best year I have ever had because it was hard going from place to place and with the politics," Hodges said. "This year, it was a blessing."

Part of that blessing came when he ran into Matt Miller, a trainer that played overseas for eight years. The results of Hodges working six days a week, sometimes twice a day, on his shooting, dribbling and strength have allowed him to have an influx of new abilities in his game, enabling him to compete better at the small forward position.

"I am just getting better very, very fast," Hodges said. "I actually think any AAU team could put me up this fast or got me better this quick."

Hodge committed in 2009 after the Badgers became his first scholarship offer, spurning early interest from Butler, DePaul, Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue and Xavier. The offer was very exciting for his parents, both of whom cheer for Wisconsin, so much so that Hodges admitted to probably making that weight too much into his decision.

"I do kind of feel that way," he said. "At the time, it was exciting for a kid, getting an offer from a big school you see on television every year. I am not dogging Wisconsin. I love everybody up there still, I feel the same toward them and I am still considering them. I just want to reopen my choices."

The problem now is that Hodges doesn't know where to start looking. Finishing the ACT test today, Hodges wants to find out if a school plays fast, slow or run and gun and a school that fits what he is looking for. That's all Hodges has got going right now, since he has no idea yet which school fits his new and improved style.

"I just want to explore the scene and find the best place I could go with my skills," Hodges said. "All I know is that the phone is ringing off the hook, but I am letting my parents handle that and I've been more so in the gym every day. Right now, I am going to stay in the weight room and the classroom and just see how it goes from here."

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