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Isaiah Todd decision primer: Juwan Howard may finally be getting his foundational piece

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The five-star prospect can be the first domino to fall in a new era of Michigan basketball — just like his head coach was as a player.

Isaiah Todd’s Instagram

Isaiah Todd is set to make his college decision between Michigan and Kansas on Thursday evening. The elite prospect has been on the radar of the college basketball elite before he even set foot on a high school campus and the end of a four-year journey is almost at its end for one of the nation’s top prospects.

Todd, who is a five-star recruit and the 12th-ranked player in the class of 2020, will make his decision at 7:45 p.m. ET on Thursday night in an announcement that could wind up shaping the Michigan basketball program under Juwan Howard for years to come.

The Wolverines made the cut with the Jayhawks a few weeks back when Todd announced his final two schools on his Instagram account, which leads many people to assume Michigan is the favorite given Kansas’ shaky (to put it lightly) situation with the NCAA allegations levied against them in recent months. The experts tend to agree with the last 11 Crystal Ball picks on 247Sports sending Todd to the Wolverines. Those names include 247’s Director of Basketball Scouting Jerry Meyer, Director of Basketball Recruiting Evan Daniels and The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb and Joshua Henschke.

“A long and athletic forward who loves to play facing the basket. Can score off post moves but has a finesse game,” 247Sports’ profile of him reads. “Building strength and mass is a key to development. Can score at all three levels. Handles ball well but decision making is questionable at times. Is a shot blocker but needs to discipline his defense as well as his offense. Known as an upside player, but has been behind the curve on expected development.

The writing does indeed appear to be on the wall.

Todd visited Ann Arbor on Sept. 27 and told Yahoo! Sports that it changed his view of Howard and the program.

“The new coaching staff with Juwan Howard, him being a former coach and player in the NBA, that was obviously appealing,” Todd said. “The guys and the team there, they treated me great and they love Juwan and you feel that they are a family there. That visit just changed my whole view of Michigan.”

Howard has been busting his rear-end on the recruiting trail the likes of which Michigan fans have not really been used to seeing in recent years, at least in terms of the elite talent that the program is targeting. John Beilein’s approach was much more methodical and focused on guys that could fit his system and blossom after a few years of coaching.

Howard’s way has not been the “better” way, per say, but for someone to put his stamp on the program and do it quickly, he has been targeting ready-made NBA-level talent and going from there. With so much change and uncertainty over how Michigan will look with Howard as its head coach, it is understandable that recruits are taking a slower approach with considering the Wolverines, but all it may take is that first domino to fall before others follow suit.

Todd would be that domino and share that bond with his head coach.

Howard was the first player to commit to Michigan that led to the Fab Five era of the team with the other members of the team following suit in their college decisions. Michigan is hoping that Todd has that sort of impact.

Todd is a raw talent that has not developed quite as much as experts expected, which has led to a bit of a drop in the rankings, but is still a top-12 player that could easily be in the NBA Draft months after his freshman season were to end. Even if it takes two years, he still should wind up being a pretty special player for whichever program he ultimately chooses.

Michigan has three scholarship spots available ahead of Todd’s announcement on Thursday night and could have at least a fourth if center Austin Davis is not brought back for a fifth year. There is currently one other player committed to Michigan’s 2020 recruiting class in four-star point guard Zeb Jackson, who committed under Beilein but has maintained his pledge to the Wolverines.

Todd’s decision is expected to be made on his Instagram account, which can be found here.