Kentucky is focusing on five-star forward prospects Keion Brooks Jr., Jaden McDaniels, and Matthew Hurt to close out the class of 2019, but one more name that has been heavily discussed as another potential frontcourt option is 2020 five-star big man Isaiah Todd.
Todd, a 6-foot-11 power forward out of Richmond, VA, has been a rumored reclassification candidate since late January, with sources telling KSR at one point it was more likely than not that he would end up making the jump and joining Kentucky’s recruiting class for 2019. On Kentucky’s end, there was a spot open for the elite big man in their upcoming class and they wanted him there. On Todd’s end, academics were in great shape and he could absolutely make the jump if he wanted to, per source.
After his high school season ended, however, things grew a bit quiet on Todd’s end of things. He received an official scholarship offer from John Calipari in February and visited Oklahoma State at the beginning of March, but we didn’t hear much outside of that.
Now, Evan Daniels of 247 Sports is reporting that Todd is “strongly leaning towards staying in the 2020 class.”
“There was a lot of talk about Isaiah Todd reclassifying from 2020 to 2019,” he said. “While it’s certainly still an option/possibility, the word is that he’s strongly leaning towards staying in the 2020 class. Let’s put it at 90 percent. Things can always change in recruiting, but as of now I think he stays in 2020.”
When it comes to the major contenders in his recruitment, Daniels still believes the Cats are in great shape.
“In terms of schools, it’s my belief that Kentucky is the current favorite, with UNC just behind them,” he said.
Another prospect that has been involved in reclassification talks for several months now is 2020 five-star center N’Faly Dante. After showing a relatively limited offensive arsenal last year, Dante had an incredible winter and saw his stock rise tremendously. He’s always been seen as one of the top defenders in all of high school basketball, but now, his offensive skills are starting to catch up.
As a result, the opportunity to move up a class is looking more and more intriguing.
According to Daniels, a potential reclassification is still on the table (if not likely) for Dante, and Kentucky is one of just four options for the 6-foot-11, 240-pound center.
“Sunrise Christian big man N’Faly Dante is strongly considering reclassifying to the 2019 class. In fact, I think it’s likely that he makes the move,” he said. “A source close to the situation said, “he’s still thinking about it.” Dante is a force in the paint and currently ranked No. 11 overall in the 2020 class. There are four schools involved in Dante’s recruitment — Kentucky, Kansas, LSU and Oregon.”
A source told KSR several months back, specifically when the initial Dante/reclassification rumors came out, that Kentucky is certainly interested, but they would prefer he stay in the class of 2020 to allow for more development on the offensive end.
Now, however, the possibility to snag him a year early is intriguing, especially if some of Kentucky’s other frontcourt options fall through. We’re still early in the process, but depending on how the recruitments of Brooks, McDaniels, and Hurt end up, expect the UK coaching staff to make a strong push for Dante in the coming months.
Looking for other juicy reclassification rumors? Daniels also said 2020 top-five combo guard RJ Hampton was “50-50” in his decision to make the jump to 2019, saying it would need to be a “great scenario” for him to consider it.
“From talking to those close to him, Hampton is considering moving to the 2019 class, but it’s certainly not a guarantee. I’d put it at 50-50,” he said. “Hampton’s list of five are Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis and TCU. Was also told it would have to be a great scenario for Hampton to consider. With Duke’s Tre Jones trending towards the draft, could Hampton be his replacement?”
Could Tyler Herro and Ashton Hagans both leaving for the NBA Draft be considered a “great scenario” for the five-star guard? Strong postseason performances from each, specifically from Hagans, could make that a reality.
Keion Brooks Jr. will be deciding on Friday, followed by McDaniels and Hurt in the next month or two.
After that, reclassification news on multiple top 2020 prospects will be coming in hot.