D’Moi Hodge’s college coach speaks out on how Lakers rookie can succeed in NBA

David Akerman
3 Min Read

Following the conclusion of the 2023 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers added University of Missouri product D’Moi Hodge on a two-way deal.

Dennis Gates, Hodge’s head coach at Missouri and Cleveland State University, then spoke about what the youngster needs to do in order to have success with the Lakers.

“He has to continue to grow, be prepared for the journey, learn, listen and have his eyes wide open and be prepared when his number is called,” Gates said. “He has to be able to treat a G League game like an NBA game and his development will flourish.”

Gates coached Hodge for a total of three seasons. During that time, the 6-foot-4 guard recorded 13.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game while knocking down 46.0 percent of his shots from the field and 35.6 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

His strengths are his defense and shooting from downtown. He is a very active and pesky defender and can get very hot from deep. During the 2022-23 season for the Tigers, he made more than one 3-pointer in 25 of his 35 appearances.

The Lakers were one of the league’s worst 3-point shooting teams this season, so they definitely can use all the help they can get in that department. Los Angeles ranked 25th among 30 teams, connecting on 34.6 percent of its attempts from deep.

Hodge seems to be excited about joining the Lakers.

He has a chance to become the first player from the British Virgin Islands to play in an NBA game. Hodge recently stated that he models his game after Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who won a title with the Lakers in 2020.

“I feel like I model his game,” Hodge said about Caldwell-Pope after working out for the Indiana Pacers. “The high intensity, the cuts, the catch and shoot, the play off the ball, I feel like that’s who I model my game after the most — just playing off the ball and being a volume guy.”

It’ll be interesting it see if Hodge is able to make a similar impact with the Lakers. The 24-year-old should see tons of time next season with Los Angeles’ G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.

Hodge figures to play a big role for Los Angeles in Summer League action. The team’s first Summer League game is set to take place on July 3 against the Miami Heat.

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David is a University of Maryland graduate who has spent most of his life in Miami. He has experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.