A Second Look at Josh Hall, and an Early Preview of Isaiah Todd

May 1st, 2020

by Alan Lu

I set out to watch another game of Moravian Prep’s 6-8 forward, Josh Hall, who recently declared to enter the NBA draft, and will forego any collegiate eligibility by electing to stay in the pool.  I was able to see him play in a March 6th game against Word of God Academy, with thanks to YouTube via HoopStateNetwork.  Hall seemed to make some solid plays that may make him an intriguing candidate to be selected in the second round in this game, but the prospect that really caught my eye was G-League bound prospect, Word of God Academy’s 6-10 big man Isaiah Todd, who showed off a splendid combination of having stellar shooting, ball handling, and shot blocking abilities as well as having good size and athleticism on the floor, and Todd just might be a potential number one pick candidate for the 2021 draft.  Here are my thoughts on how Hall and Todd fared, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.

Moravian Prep Academy’s 6-8 high school senior forward, Josh Hall is making a bold move by announcing his intentions to stay in the 2020 NBA Draft.
(Photo: Tasha Swanson, via Pro Insight at prospectiveinsight.com.)

Josh Hall is an athletic combo forward that can make plays on both ends of the floor.  He is an aggressive scorer that will take the ball to the rack to score.  He has a solid first step to his right that can enable him to get scores, and he will also draw numerous free throws, as he will barrel his way to the hoop to get to the foul line often.  Sometimes though, he may go in too wildly, as he can be prone to missing shots in traffic when he doesn’t get foul calls.  He also attempted to score in the post after getting an offensive rebound, but he ended up missing on a contested jump hook.

On the downside, he still didn’t shoot the ball very well in this game.  He was able to make a deep pull-up three, but Hall had trouble making spot-up jumpers, and he would often miss on corner threes when he would hoist up shots from long-range.  He also brought the ball up quickly on the break, but he ended up missing a pull-up, mid-range jumper, as he settled for a lower percentage shot than he could’ve been able to obtain.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Hall showed off more of a point forward’s mentality than he did against Combine Academy, and he was able to throw some good passes off the dribble.  On one play, he drove up court and threw a lob pass to set up an alley-oop dunk for a teammate.  He also tended to throw solid interior passes, and he would keep the ball moving on offense.  On the downside, he was still rather turnover prone.  He threw a hasty interior pass into traffic early on that got deflected and intercepted.  He also committed a couple of ball-handling turnovers.  He was called for a clear-out foul when handling the ball in transition, as he also charged into a defender simultaneously to commit both an offensive foul and a turnover.  He also handled the ball off of a steal, but ended up getting the ball poked away from him to lose it another time.

Hall didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, but he was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor.  He was able to get multiple defensive rebounds, and he showed a willingness to push the pace after getting them.  He also managed to leap up to get an offensive rebound in traffic late in this match.

He also played adequate defense in this game.  Hall was active in playing passing lanes, and he would get his hands on balls to help his team force turnovers.  On one good play late in this contest, he leapt up to intercept a pass to get a steal.  He also would use his length to contest jumpers and shots around the basket to force some misses.

On the downside, he would sometimes not get over quick enough when defending screens to cut off the penetration, and other times he would overpursue the opposing ball handler, which would allow his opponents to capitalize on scoring opportunities off the dribble.  Sometimes he would not run back hard on defense, as his team would allow scores on the break.  On a couple of plays, his team would try to use the press, but it would lead to a scrambling situation that would result in giving up baskets on the break. 

Overall, Josh Hall is an athletic combination forward that may intrigue NBA teams, as he may be one of the youngest players in the 2020 draft, and he was regarded as a 5-star player by Rivals.  He will still need to improve his jump shot and be a more focused player on the defensive end, but his athleticism, shot-creation ability, and flashes of motor may make him an enticing option for teams to consider late in this draft.  Regardless of whether or not if he gets drafted, he will probably spend most of next season in the G-League to continue to build his game, and he could be a solid candidate to be on an NBA team’s roster as a two-way contract next season.  Hall is a project player that will need time to develop his overall game, but if an NBA team is patient with him, he could end up being an effective role player similar to Minnesota Timberwolves’ forward, Jake Layman.

G-League bound prospect, 6-10 forward Isaiah Todd may project to go in the lottery of the 2021 draft.
(Photo: Jon Lopez, via USA Today High School Sports.)

Isaiah Todd played very well in his team’s tough loss to Moravian Prep. He really stood out in this game, as he showed off tremendous shooting ability, combined with slick ball handling skills, and very good physical tools that may make him a strong candidate to go in the lottery in 2021. 

He is a very good shooter that possesses a knack for making long-range jumpers from beyond the arc.  Late in the first half, he dribbled the ball quickly up the court, and he proceeded to stop on a dime by using a solid step-back move to make a jaw-dropping, pull-up three from well beyond the arc.  Todd is an athletic playmaker that can be the team’s point forward, and he also excelled at making threes in this game.  He did a good job of making long-range jumpers off the catch and dribble, and his three-point shot easily looks to be his best skill heading into next season.

He also showed a decent ability to score on drives to the basket. Todd would tend to go to his right, but he has a good assortment of dribble moves that he can use to draw fouls upon his defenders.  He did go to his left once, but ended up missing on an acrobatic reverse layup that time.

Plus, he also will crash the glass to score on hustle plays.  Todd was able to grab an offensive rebound, as he patiently dribbled in from the post to score on a put back.  However, there was another play where he missed on a wild tip-in attempt, as he ended up rushing his shot.

If anything, Todd didn’t seem to look to create his own shot enough, but judging from his buzzer-beating three that he made to close the first half and sharp-shooting skills, it seems that he may have an immense amount of scoring potential, as he is a very good shooter that can ably create his own shots at will.

He displayed decent playmaking skills in this game.  Todd would sometimes keep the ball moving, and he was able to find an open shooter to notch an assist.  He also will sometimes set screens for his teammates.  He also kept turnovers to a minimum in this game, as he did a good job of controlling the basketball.

However, he will likely need to significantly improve his defense.  For the positives, Todd is an active help defender that can block shots to help his team protect the paint.  On the downside, he committed a litany of fouls in the second half, as he ended up fouling out just before his team lost a tough one to Moravian Prep.

Todd is a good shot blocker that can ably swat shots in the post, as he possessing good length, athleticism, and anticipation skills.  He also reached in to tip an entry pass to nearly get a steal, and he will also contest shots in the paint to force some misses.  On the downside, he would often pick up fouls by rotating to try to cover for his teammates off of drives, and his tendency to pick up quick fouls prevented him from logging more minutes in this game.  He also had trouble defending in the post, as he would often get outmuscled, which would put his team in compromising situations.  Other times, he would not stay in front of his man, as he would get beat on moves to the hoop to allow scores.

Overall, Isaiah Todd is an exciting prospect to watch for the 2021 draft.  He is a talented sharpshooter that seems to have an immense amount of potential, though re-adjustments regarding his draft stock will be made depending on how well he fares in the G-League next season.  From watching this game alone, he is a super-skilled player that could be a similar player to Denver Nuggets’ forward, Michael Porter Jr., and Todd is a high-upside player that could end up being a lottery pick in 2021.

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