The hits keep coming for Juwan Howard and the Michigan basketball program.
And more importantly, John Calipari and the Kentucky coaching staff have proven yet again they know what they’re doing on the recruiting trail.
Just 12 hours after missing out on the commitment of 2020 top-ten prospect Josh Christopher – a former Kentucky target – last night, Michigan has now lost its top basketball commitment in Isaiah Todd.
Todd, a five-star forward and top-15 overall prospect, has officially backed off his commitment to the Wolverines and will explore his professional options.
“This was a tough decision for him, but he just feels like this is what’s best for him and his development,” Todd’s mother Marlene Venable told Jason Jordan of Sports Illustrated. “We love Michigan and Juwan (Howard), but, at the end of the day, he has to make the best decision for him.”
According to Todd himself, the decision was a “no-brainer.”
“My dream has always been to play in the NBA,” Todd told Sports Illustrated. “I just feel like this route will help my game grow even more. I want to be as prepared as possible when the times comes. This was a no-brainer for me.”
So why is this news significant to the Kentucky basketball program?
For starters, Todd was seen as a heavy UK lean last winter and into the spring, with Calipari actually pushing for a reclassification at one point in hopes of getting the 6-foot-10 forward on last year’s roster. Had a decision been made then, sources told KSR that he would have been a Wildcat.
After opting to remain in 2020, though, momentum shifted throughout the summer, with overseas rumblings soon growing louder and louder around Peach Jam. North Carolina soon emerged as a strong contender – he took several unofficial visits to the school – as did Michigan and Kansas going into the fall.
Kentucky made one visit to Todd’s school in North Carolina once the fall recruiting period opened up, but in the weeks following, public contact died out completely. Going into October, there were strong rumblings that the Wildcats had pulled out of the race completely.
In fact, after cutting his list down to two in October, Todd took to his Instagram page to tell fans that Kentucky “wouldn’t let” him take an official visit to Lexington.
As overseas talks became realistic, it became obvious Calipari and the UK staff were no longer interested, no matter how much they liked Todd as a player.
Regarding his decommitment from Michigan and how it ties in with the Kentucky program, it also has significant implications on the programs’ upcoming trip to London, as the Wildcats and Wolverines are set to face off in the London Showcase at The O2 in December.
Without Todd, along with Christopher’s commitment to Arizona State last night, the matchup has significantly shifted in Kentucky’s favor.
Cal gonna Cal.