Who's Got Next? Isaiah Todd And The Top 5 Prospects in High School Basketball

Now that Marvin Bagley has moved on to play at Duke, it's time to crown the next king of high school basketball. For the past few years Bagley was widely considered the top high schooler, regardless of class, now there's a new #1 - another generational type of talent taking over that top spot and ready to become a household name:

#1)  Isaiah Todd is only a rising sophomore but he's a special talent who has all the makings of an NBA superstar. He might not be the best player in high school at this moment but he's the best long-term prospect. At only 15 years of age, the 6-10 power forward has elite size and skills and projects as a franchise altering talent. It'll be awesome to see him develop over 3 more years of high school ball. The sky is the limit for how good he can be and he reminds of a hybrid of Chris Bosh and Tim Duncan. Now he gets to carry the heavy weight that comes with being a transcendent basketball talent and the new king of high school hoops.

#2) R.J. Barrett is a much more polished player and is closer to realizing his potential than the younger players on this list. He's the front-runner for the #1 overall pick in 2019 and projects as an elite big wing at the NBA level. His game reminds of Grant Hill but he has even more physical ability and size than Hill had. Barrett could be listed at #1 on this list but for now he's a close second behind Todd. Barrett will play his final season at Montverde Acadamy and his college recruitment is still open, with all the big schools in the mix.

#3) Bol Bol has gone from having intriguing upside potential to being a legit superstar player. He's a force on both ends of the court, able to alter the game on the defensive end with his awesome length and good defensive instincts, and he's a silky smooth offensive player with an accurate jump shot and range out to 3. His shot is nearly impossible to block thanks to his height and 7-8 wingspan. He can play with his back to the basket or in the face up game. What an amazing world we live in! Getting to watch the son of the late Manute Bol rise up the rankings and become a star player. The basketball gods are very kind.

#4) Jalen Green is another young but super talented prospect who is just oozing with upside. He's a bouncy, long and explosive 2 guard who plays an effortless game. As with Isaiah Todd, there's a lot of pressure and expectations for such a young star but he seems more than capable of carrying the load. Green has elite attributes including supreme athleticism, laser-like focus and a great feel for the game for a young player. He can score from three levels and is a smooth, natural shooter who can light it up from deep. What sets Green apart is his incredible athleticism. His elevation and body control are second to none and he's truly a dynamic open court athlete. He's also a natural ball handler who plays with good rhythm and feel for the game.

#5) James Wiseman has emerged as a big time center prospect and is a potential top pick in the 2020 draft. Wiseman was always a talent but now that he's standing nearly 7 feet tall, with a 7-4 wingspan, without loosing his bounce and agility, he's emerging as an elite level prospect. There's a long way to go in his development but he shows flashes of upside that remind of Anthony Davis. Centers can take a while to develop but Wiseman is on a trajectory that points towards the top of the lottery in a few years.

It's tough to pick just 5 with so much incredible talent at the high school level. We can gladly say that there's tons of talent coming down the road and the college and NBA games will be in good hands for many years to come.

Honorable mention


Zion Williamson, Scottie Lewis, Charles Bassey, Cameron Reddish, Romeo Langford

Prospect Corner: 1on1 with Kelan Martin

LJ catches up with Butler University SF Kelan Martin, in the Prospect Corner

Kelan Martin is a 6-6 215 small forward with good offensive skills and he's a very hard worker. A leader of the great Butler basketball program, which has been underappreciated for years. Butler has done a great job of grooming some of the best talent in the NCAA and Kelan Martin continues the legacy. Martin averaged 16 points 5.8 rebounds while shooting 34.8 percent from 3 and 78 percent from the line and coming up big in big games. He is "on the bubble" in the NBA Draft Room 2018 mock draft and he's the no. 56 rated player on nbadraft.net 2018 board. Martin would be a valuable contributor to any NBA team. Watch for him to break out even more this season at Butler.

1on1 with Kelan Martin


LJ: Butler stays in it. What makes Butler basketball so competitive?

Kelan: Butler basketball is always overlooked and underrated every year. I feel like every year we get overlooked during the preseason and there is always a chip on our shoulder, so after the first few games we play in big time tournaments during thanksgiving break and they're big time teams in those tournaments. We will play those teams and beat them then there is the media saying, "oh Butler basketball beats so and so by using the butler way", which we have good players that can match up with any team in the country. That's why we are always going so deep in the NCAA tourney.

LJ: What is the strength of your game?

Kelan: Strength to my game is my ability to knock down the mid range shot, I think that is something that separates my game from others. Also I can create my own shot, knock down the three, rebound, find open teammates and being able to get to the basket whenever I want and defending 3 positions.

LJ: Your toughest task as a player playing for Butler. How did you handle it?

Kelan: When coach brought me off the bench towards the end of my junior year. I was going through a slump and couldn't manage to get out of it, so coach Holtmann started bringing me off the bench as the 6th man and once he did that my confidence started to rise again, I was kind of down on myself during that time but I managed to be positive about the situation and regain my composure.

LJ: What was your best game last season numbers wise?

Kelan: My best game last season is probably when we played Villanova I had 22 7 2. The other one was Middle Tennessee State were I had 19 6 4. There were other games that I did really well as well.

LJ: What NBA player do you model your game after?

Kelan: Some NBA players games I watch that I like and try to model myself after is Paul George, Demarr Derozen, Devin Booker, and Kawhi Leonard.

LJ: What was your toughest game last season and how did you play?

Kelan: Toughest game of the season is when we played at Creighton. We lost by 16 and I was 3/14 from the field and was very frustrated with myself.

LJ: What part of your game has improved this season that we will see?

Kelan: My ball-handling, my shot and my ability to play with pace and not being so rushed up with things while making my moves. My footwork is a huge part of my improvement to my game.

LJ: What can we expect from Butler this season?

Kelan: The same thing people expect from us every year, being underdogs that have the ability to compete with any team in the country.

LJ: What do you bring to an NBA team on and off the court?

Kelan: I can bring multiple things to an NBA team. First I can bring a guy who comes from a great family, has high character, personality, someone who is willing to work each and every day. I can bring a person who cares and is passionate about the game and others. A great locker room guy and on the court I can bring a motor. Someone who plays hard every game, rebounding, defending no matter who it is, knocking down open shots and winning is all that matters to me.

2018 NBA Mock Draft

Ashton Hagans NBA Draft Scouting Report

Position

  Height

 Weight

 From

PG  6-3  185  Covington, GA

  Born

  Wingspan

  Standing Reach

  Vertical

 7/8/99 6-7 (2016) NA  NA

Overview
A steady, cerebral floor general with big time court vision and an uncanny feel for the game, Hagans is challenging for the top PG spot in the 2019 recruiting class.

Strengths
Hagans is a guy who can use the dribble to breakdown just about any defender. He's got jitterbug quickness but also has length, a lethal combination. His first step, his stop/start ability and his lateral agility are elite and he's a great ball handler, keeping the ball low to the ground, allowing him to weave around defenders.

He's got a great feel for the game and has pure point guard instincts. He can rock the defense to sleep with the dribble while allowing the play to develop and then pass his teammates open, showing good vision and true floor general skills.

He's a good athlete with top level speed and is just as quick with the ball as without. He' not an athletic freak but he's got all the speed needed and has decent strength (despite being thin), thanks to his low center of gravity and his ability to play with leverage.

He's very difficult to stop on his moves to the hoop and in the transition game because of a nasty inside out dribble and the way he changes strides and speed. He knows how to slow the pace and play with rhythm, then use the blow by dribble.

He's a fierce competitor with a drive to prove that he's the best in the class. A gamer and a winner who plays with passion and plays the game the right way.

Weaknesses
As mentioned above, Hagans has enough but doesn't have elite athleticism or length. He's not an athletic freak that blows you away with raw ability. He can play above the rim but he doesn't hang out there.

Needs to get more consistent with his outside shot.

Comparisons
Hagans has a similar build to Darren Collinson and he's just as quick. He also compares a bit to Cameron Payne in terms of size/speed but with much better point guard instincts than Payne. He also reminds of Elfrid Payton but with a better shooting touch.

Projection: late lottery to mid first round pick in the 2020 or 2021 NBA Draft
Underrated or overrated? Who are your player comparisons for him?

Dzanan Musa NBA Draft Scouting Report

Position

 Height

 Weight

 From

 SF  6-9  195  Bosnia

  Born

  Wingspan

  Standing Reach

  Vertical

 5/8/99 6-8 1/2 8-9  31 1/2

Overview

Musa is an offensive talent who can score from three levels. The high scoring forward is a likely first round pick and potential lottery pick but has somewhat limited upside due to his lack of length and lack of big time athleticism.

Strengths
Smooth three point shot. Can get his shot off the dribble and is also an excellent catch and shoot player. He's a real sniper from downtown.
Has tight handles and is able to dribble through traffic and keep the ball low to the ground. Impressive for a 6-9 player.
Has good open court speed. Might not be a highlight reel dunker but he's got plenty of athleticism and can really get out on the break.
Uses ball fakes well to move the defense. Seems to always be one step ahead of the defense and keeping them off balance.
Shows an impressive ability to score off the bounce and is able to drive with either hand. Has some blow-by speed.
Anticipates the play well, whether it's reading the passing lanes or anticipating the rebound. Seems to always be in the right place at the right time.

Weaknesses
He's got below average length and good but not great athleticism.
His lack of length limits his defensive ability and his ability to compete for rebounds.
He's not much of a back to the basket player and doesn't mix it up in the lane.

Comparisons
A quicker version of Sam Dekker.

Projection: mid first round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft

Underrated or overrated? Who are your player comparisons for him?