Over the last several years, reclassification talk has seen a ridiculous jump in the high school basketball world. In the past, one or two prospects a year strongly considered and/or followed through with a move to the previous class.
Now, dozens of elite prospects have had their names associated with reclassification rumors.
One of the big ones in the class of 2020? Five-star power forward and top-10 prospect Isaiah Todd.
Back in January, Corey Evans of Rivals.com was the first to report the rumor.
“Todd and his family are investigating the proper avenues for a reclassification into the 2019 class and thus, a college enrollment this fall,” Evans said.
Not long after, sources told KSR that it was “more likely than not” that he was going to end up making the jump. His high school coach told KSR that those around him felt he was physically and mentally ready, and his grades were also in order to make it work.
All that was left for him to decide was whether or not he wanted another year to just be a kid.
From there, things grew silent as his high school season came to a close. And then, we saw a significant shift in momentum, as rumors grew louder that he was likely going to stick around in the class of 2020.
His mother then told reporters earlier this month that Todd was planning on putting college on hold and would spend one more season in high school.
To lay all rumors to rest, Todd told the media at Nike EYBL in Atlanta, GA this afternoon that he is officially sticking with his original class of 2020.
“100%, I’m staying in the class of 2020,” he said. “We thought about reclassifying because it was a rumor at first, but it’s gonna be 2020.”
So what went into that decision? Why did he consider a jump to 2019 and what pushed him to eventually stay put?
According to the 6-foot-11 forward, when the initial rumors about his reclassification first leaked, the thought of making a jump never even crossed his mind. The more he thought about it, however, the more he saw it as a serious possibility.
From there, the idea of one more year in high school simply won out in the end.
“I never really thought about it until the rumor came up,” he said. “It ended up being something we thought about for a little while, but it was never really dominant in our minds. It was just something we talked about.”
Say, hypothetically of course, a college coach finds themselves in a situation where they needed a frontcourt piece to close out their 2019-20 roster. Maybe surprise NBA Draft final decision or transfer comes about.
Would he have any wiggle room down the road?
“I can’t really tell you what might happen, I don’t know,” Todd said with a smile. “But I guess it all just depends on what my mom and I decide to do. … My mother’s (opinion matters most to me). I know she has my best interest, and I trust her more than anybody.”
With reclassification out of the way for now, Todd is excited to continue to develop his game and work his way up the 2020 player rankings. And by the looks of things, he’s certainly on his way to the top of the list.
Already listed as ESPN’s No. 8 prospect overall, Todd showed off a perimeter game reminiscent of former Kentucky superstar Anthony Davis. He was bringing the ball up the floor, pulling up from three in transition, and knocking down stepback jumpers.
At 6-foot-11, Isaiah Todd is ridiculously comfortable on the perimeter. Kid is a stud. pic.twitter.com/0D554z9cXU
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) April 27, 2019
2020 five-star forward Isaiah Todd starts the day with a gorgeous pull-up three in transition. Tells defender “Stop playing with me.” pic.twitter.com/TLRWSIznNB
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) April 27, 2019
And he was pleased to see Kentucky head coach John Calipari there to see every second of it.
“(He was there) the whole game, yup,” Todd said. “I really like Coach Cal.”
According to the 6-foot-11 forward, who likens himself to a “unicorn,” those are the kind of gestures he’ll take into consideration when he eventually makes his college decision.
“It’s very important to me because I like guys that show that they care and show they really want me,” Todd said. “I’ll give them that same respect back.”
As far as his game is concerned, the growth is a product of his hard work in the gym. The difference between his skillset from last year to right now is night and day.
“I feel like I grow (as a player) every couple months because I’m in the gym every day, twice a day. Sometimes three times,” he said. “I’ve grown in my ball handling, my confidence, as a leader my high school season. Just my will to win.”
In terms of becoming developing his guard skills, he said watching and analyzing film from some the biggest NBA superstars has helped him become more versatile and well-rounded.
“I like studying film on guys like Kevin Durant, Giannas (Antetokounmpo), other guys that have my body type and see what they do well,” he said. “Try to incorporate that into my game.”
While he doesn’t go out there and try to play exactly like Davis, Durant, or Antetokounmpo, he does just try to show that he can bring a little bit of everything to the table. The day Todd can say he has zero flaws in his game is the day he’ll be content.
“I just look at guys that go out there and do everything that they can do,” he said. “Look at Zion Williamson, he goes out there and just plays hard, does all the things that he does well. I can do pretty much a little bit of everything, so I like to go out there and show I can do a little bit of everything.
When it comes to his recruitment and making a decision sometime down the road, Todd said that all schools are on an equal playing field. While he loves Kentucky and hears the rumors that they are the runaway favorite in his recruitment, he wants the world to know that things are still open.
“Right now, all colleges on my list are on an equal level,” he said. “I don’t like anyone more than anybody else. But they’re a great school, I love Coach Cal. I definitely have to take a visit out there.”