Basketball Recruiting - Cassidy's Takeaways: Pangos Premier 80 Showcase
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Cassidy's Takeaways: Pangos Premier 80 Showcase

Ben Middlebrooks
Ben Middlebrooks (Photo by: Russ Wood)

MIAMI – Pangos Premier 80 Showcase rolled into Miami on Sunday and drew a large group of talented prospects from South Florida and beyond. Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy was on hand for the day of games and shares some news and notes from the event below.

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Fact or Fiction: Duke got better because Jalen Johnson left

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30

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BEN MIDDLEBROOKS IN FREQUENT CONTACT WITH HIGH-MAJORS

One of the more coveted prospects at the event, Ben Middlebrooks has a long list of offers that span conferences and time zones. Following his first of two Sunday games, the 6-foot-10 forward said Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Notre Dame and Clemson are the teams in most frequent contact at this juncture.

“Those are the ones I’m really talking to a lot right now,” Middlebrooks said. “It changes, but those have been the big ones for a bit.”

Middlebrooks, who totally controlled the glass in both games he played on Sunday was a big hot and cold on the offensive end, but the good outweighed the bad. He hopes to make a decision sometime between now and the start of his senior season.

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ASHTON HARDAWAY WON’T BLINDLY FOLLOW DAD TO MEMPHIS 

Ashton Hardaway played a pair of games on Sunday, and showcased some serious upper-body strength to go along with a developing jumpshot. The big-framed wing is yet to land his first official offer, but is in contact with a number of schools that extend beyond Memphis, for which his father, Penny Hardaway functions as head coach.

“I’ve been talking a lot to Texas Tech, Missouri, Baylor and Vanderbilt a lot,” Hardaway said on Sunday. “They're all good schools and all schools I’d definitely consider.”

As for where his father and Memphis stand in his recruitment, the 2023 standout says it’s hard to tell. It remains early in Hardaway’s process so attempting to determine where he may land seems like a futile exercise at this juncture.

“My dad just wants me to focus on getting better and my game and not really worry about colleges or anything yet,” Hardaway said. “He wants me to trust the process.”

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FRESHMAN FORWARD HOLDS HYPER-EARLY FSU OFFER 

One of the top class of 2024 prospects in the state of Florida, Marcus Allen already has a scholarship offer to his name. When the Seminoles pulled the trigger back in October, even Allen himself was a bit taken off guard by its early nature. He says he’d grown up wanting to land an offer from the Seminoles, however, and has already started the process of getting to know the Florida State staff.

“It means a lot that they offered when they did,” Allen said. “I mean, i can tell they believe in me a lot and they believe in what I can do. They like the way I play.”

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2023 POINT GUARD CARL PARRISH III DOES IT ALL 

Carl Parrish III was a pleasant surprise, as the class of 2023 point guard put on a show in the day’s first game. Parrish III, who is yet to generate much recruiting interest, looked every bit a serious prospect at the event, stuffing the stat sheet and scoring at the track and from beyond the arc.

A sophomore at Miami’s Norland High School, Parish is all of 6-foot-2. And while he needs to progress as a defender and add muscle, his court vision and passing are advanced for his age. He projects as a prospect that can help any number of Div. I teams and is certainly worth watching as he progresses.

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YOUTH MOVEMENT: ALEXANDER CONSTANZA IN ONE TO WATCH 

Possibly the youngest player at the event, Alexander Constanza is yet to hit high school. You’d never be able to deduce that by observing the forward’s 6-foot-5 frame, but his size isn’t the most impressive thing about him. On Sunday, the South Florida-based 8th-grader stood toe to toe with high school sophomores and juniors, and managed to contribute at a high level both on the score sheet and on the glass.

Constanza will obviously need to become a more consistent jump-shooter as he ages, but the athletic wing gets to the basket incredibly well for such a young player. He certainly doesn’t lack for confidence, either, as he spent the afternoon aggressively calling for the ball and taking older defenders off the dribble. Constanza is certainly a prospect to monitor down the road as colleges start to take note of talent and size.