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Cassidy Awards: Hoop Exchange Fall Festival

Jalen Lee
Jalen Lee (Rob Cassidy/

TAVARES, Fla. – The annual Hoop Exchange Fall Festival unfolded just outside of Orlando over the weekend, and Rivals recruiting director Rob Cassidy was on hand for the event. Below, he recaps some of the top individual performances witnessed with his Cassidy Awards.


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Lee has been on the radar for some time now, but the versatility he showed at the weekend event was enough to help sneak into the Rivals150. The West Oaks Academy senior is long and rangy and boasts a motor that never seems to stall. Lee is in perpetual attack mode and shows a knack for scoring at all three levels. His long-range jumper isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, but it was falling for him all day Saturday. He handles the ball and makes mostly wise passing decisions as well. He won’t blow you away with any single part of his game, but he does a multitude of things so well that he becomes hard to game plan against.

RECRUITMENT: Lee holds offers from a long list of schools, but seems most involved with Mercer, UAB and Tulane. High-major schools such as Florida State and Ole Miss have also offered but don’t seem to be pressing particularly hard for his commitment just yet, but that may change in the coming months.


BEST IN SHOW: Cooper Flagg 

Cooper Flagg
Cooper Flagg (Rob Cassidy/

There isn’t a lot to say about Flagg’s game that hasn’t already been said 100 different times in 100 different publications, but the future lottery pick was his usual, versatile self in Orlando over the weekend. Flagg used the opportunity to tune up for the upcoming season while also showing off his athleticism, which is sometimes overlooked because most of the chatter about him concerns his versatile skill set and defensive impact. His skill was on display, of course, but his explosiveness, agility and ability to play above the rim took center stage. There’s no more complete prospect in the 2024 class, and it’s hard to imagine anyone unseating Flagg as the No. 1 player in America.

RECRUITMENT: Flagg was scheduled to take a Kansas visit, but recently canceled the trip, leaving Duke and UConn as the last two schools alive in his recruitment. The five-star forward is considered a Blue Devil lean, but things seem to have gone well on his trip to Storrs. No timetable for a decision has been set.



Few prospects have evolved as much as Queen over the last 18 months or so, as the five-star center has reshaped, leaned out and become more explosive than ever. He played with a new brand of confidence over the weekend and seems to be asserting himself like never before despite playing on a Monteverde team stocked with as much elite talent as any high school squad in recent memory. Queen controlled the paint during both Saturday games, creating extra possessions, sticking back second-chance points and showing levels of both athleticism and confidence he lacked a year ago at this time. It was nice to see him consistently assert himself and become a focal point on a roster that could make it easy to take possessions off and blend into the periphery.

RECRUITMENT: Queen’s recruitment is a Maryland-versus-Indiana affair, as no other school feels like a legitimate threat to land the five-star center. It’s difficult to discern which way he’s leaning, however, as both programs feel good about where they stand.


THE FLASH: Dante Allen 

Dante Allen
Dante Allen (Rob Cassidy/

The son of former NBA player Malik Allen, Dante Allen gets end to end as quickly as anyone in the class. His explosiveness is legitimately striking and makes for a long day for anyone asked to defend the 6-foot-4 combo guard. Allen is an absolute weapon in transition and gets by defenders with a quick first step. He’s not a bad shooter by any stretch, but that’s not the cornerstone of his offensive game. Nobody at the event was more electric than the lightning-quick Allen.

RECRUITMENT: Offers have already started to roll in for Allen, whose father played at Villanova in the late 90s. The four-star guard said he hopes to visit ‘Nova, along with Michigan and UCF.


VISIONARY: Alex Lloyd 

Lloyd had an up-and down shooting weekend in Orlando, but he still managed to impact games as a facilitator. He’ll need to become a more consistent long-range threat as well as a better defender, but the flashes of brilliance from a facilitation and rim-attacking standpoint are there. A bet on the lean point guard is a bet on long-term potential, of which he clearly has plenty.

RECRUITMENT: Miami, Florida State and Dayton are all involved with Lloyd to differing extents. He also holds offers from FAU and St. John’s.


EVOLVING –  Moustapha Thiam

Thiam showed some flashes against a Montverde Academy team loaded with top-tier prospects. He needs to add some weight and polish, sure, but his long term-potential was on full display over the weekend. The 7-foot-1 center impacted the game in the paint on the defensive end and even showed off a smooth turnaround jumper from mid-range. The class of 2025 prospect continues to expand his offensive game and moves as fluidly as any 7-footer in the country. His game is clearly evolving on multiple fronts, and he did some nice things defensively against five-stars Derik Queen and Cooper Flagg. RECRUITMENT: Thiam holds a handful of early offers, but UCF seems like the team to watch in the early going. Missouri also recently threw its hat into the ring of the big man’s recruitment.


LONG-TERM UPSIDE – Landyn Colyer 

A 6-foot-5 combo guard, Colyer does a lot of nice things. And while he’s still developing consistency as a long-range shooter, you don’t have to squint to see his massive potential. The long, athletic Colyer is a high-level defender capable of guarding multiple positions, thanks to his size and motor. He handles the ball well and scores at all three levels when he’s at his best. His size, motor and ability to take defenders off the bounce are promising traits when you consider he’s just a sophomore at North Tampa Christian.

RECRUITMENT: Colyer landed offers from Florida State and Washington in the wake of his performance at the Fall Festival. He’ll see plenty more opportunities come his way as he continues to grow as a player.


ON THE RADAR: Anthony Knowles 

A class of 2025 point guard capable of doing a little bit of everyone, Knowles boasts a thick, strong upper body that allows him to get to his spots, absorb contact and rebound relatively well for a point guard. On Saturday, he shined as both a facilitator and a scorer while showing the ability to knock down open jumpers as well as finish at the basket. The 6-foot floor general flashed often at the event and dictated the pace of games for long stretches while avoiding turnovers and bad decisions.

RECRUITMENT: Knowles holds offers from schools such as Jacksonville, Stetson and Southern Miss. He’ll play his junior season at Miami’s Mater Lakes High School, which will make plenty of noise in the Sunshine State this year. He should see his profile raise this season.