Isaiah Todd, a basketball target of UNC and NC State, adjusts to life in the Triangle

Five-star forward Isaiah Todd talks recruitment by UNC, NC State

Trinity Academy's Isaiah Todd, a five-star forward and a UNC and NC State target, talks about his recruitment after Trinity Academy's victory over Ravenscroft on Nov. 27, 2018.
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Trinity Academy's Isaiah Todd, a five-star forward and a UNC and NC State target, talks about his recruitment after Trinity Academy's victory over Ravenscroft on Nov. 27, 2018.

Isaiah Todd was more of a spectator against Ravenscroft on Tuesday night, but the 6-10 forward from Raleigh’s Trinity Academy did more than enough to leave his imprint on the game.

Todd got in foul trouble early and sat out all but one minute of the second quarter after picking up his third foul. In the fourth quarter, he was sent back to bench early after being called for an offensive foul, his fourth. But in the final frame and the second overtime, the five-star forward gave a glimpse of why he is one of the top prospects in the class of 2020.

Todd finished the game with four blocks, none bigger than the one he swatted away on a fast break by the Ravens that would have tied the game in the second overtime. Moments later, he knocked down one of two free throws, the difference in the Tigers’ one-point road win, 65-64.

Todd finished with 14 points, four blocks and three rebounds in the win, even more impressive when you dive into the box score and realize he basically sat on the bench for two quarters while his Trinity teammates held off Ravenscroft. Not that Todd grew frustrated while being forced to sit out. He just used the time on the pine as an opportunity to encourage his teammates any way he could.

Isaiah Todd (14) of Trinity Academy looks for a pass against Jeremiah Williams, second from left, and Lucrichard Rameau, left, of Ravenscroft. The Trinity Academy Tigers visited the Ravenscroft Ravens in a high school boys basketball game on November 27, 2018. Trinity Academy won 65-64. Fabian Radulescu

“It’s nothing I’m not used to,” Todd said. “You just have to keep your composure and stay level headed. It’s always a challenge. When guys come into timeouts I’m telling them what I see because it’s a different game when you are sitting on the bench, you see everything. I’m getting them water and making sure the bench is energized.”

That ability to stay engaged, even when he isn’t playing, is one of the many qualities that make Todd such an intriguing prospect. Todd transferred to Trinity this summer from John Marshall in Richmond, and picked up an offer from North Carolina in late September. He also received an offer from N.C. State over the summer.

Todd showed off a smooth three-point shooting touch on Tuesday (knocked down three triples against the Ravens) and at times handled the ball at the top of the key. At 6-10, he also worked the post, often against smaller defenders, but still showing a knack for getting good position despite constant double teams. On the defensive end, the highlight reel blocks speak for themselves.

“It’s real big (the blocks) as far as energy and momentum,” Todd said. “And obviously saving two points from the other team, but they helped a lot during a tight game.”

Since relocating to the Triangle, Todd said he’s hearing from the local schools more often. UNC reaches out more often and N.C. State sends letters “every day.”

Todd took a visit to N.C. State on Sept. 30, and recalls how he got a police escort to the game.

“I’ll never forget,” Todd said. “It was amazing.”

That was just days after his visit and offer from UNC that followed. Todd, just a junior, still has time to trim his list and enjoy the process. But the versatile big man already knows what he is looking for in a school.

“The coaches relationships with his best player, what my role would be coming in as a freshman,” Todd said. “How they prepare their guys for the NBA, things of that nature.”