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Tennessee Mr. Basketball Fleming commits to Iowa

[ 0 ] May 12, 2014 |

When it came to picking a college, Andrew Fleming did his homework.

He closely examined the rosters of his top six schools and came to the conclusion that the University of Iowa men’s basketball program was the best fit for him.

Fleming, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard and a member of the 2015 high school senior class, announced his verbal commitment to Iowa on Twitter on Monday afternoon.

He told Fran McCaffery the good news Sunday, a day after returning from an unofficial visit to Iowa City.

“I cut my list to a final six, and I looked at every single roster,” Fleming said Monday. “I studied how they play. I studied the rosters, their coaches, their styles and the plays that they run.

“And overall, I liked Iowa with the way that coach (McCaffery) coaches and the way they push the ball up and down the floor, they really do that. He doesn’t just talk about it.”

A native of Nashville, Tenn., Fleming reportedly picked Iowa over Florida, UNLV, Memphis, Vanderbilt and Ohio State, although it’s uncertain if he had scholarship offers from all those schools

Fleming was named Mr. Basketball in Tennessee for Division II-AA this past season after leading Ensworth High School to its third consecutive state title. He has since decided to transfer to perennial power Oak Hill Academy in Virginia for his senior season.

Fleming averaged 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as a junior. He shot 50 percent from the field, 75 percent from the free-throw line and 28 percent from 3-point range.

“As a combo guard, he has the ability to play either (guard position),” said veteran recruiting analyst Van Coleman, who has seen Fleming play at least 20 times in person. “He shoots the ball well. He’s a very good ball handler and passer who can run the break. He can penetrate off the wing on the dribble drive, pull up and hit the mid-range jump shot.”

Coleman said Fleming in some ways reminds him of former Iowa all-Big Ten combo guard Devyn Marble, who used up his eligibility this past season.

“He has a lot of the same skill set that Devyn Marble has. He’s just not quite as big or long,” Coleman said.

Fleming also thinks his game is similar to how the 6-6 Marble plays.

“I don’t want to say Devyn Marble-ish yet, because obviously I’m not that good yet because he’s an animal and he’s going to the NBA probably,” Fleming said. “But some of those factors that he has I feel like I can bring to the table: putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket and scoring and pulling up for mid-range jump shots, creating my own jump shot and also knocking down 3s.”

Fleming said McCaffery told him he thinks he can play as many as three positions, with point guard and small forward also possibilities.

“He just said overall you’re going to play more minutes because you can do that,” Fleming said of McCaffery.

Fleming is the second player from the 2015 senior class to commit to Iowa. Brandon Hutton, a 6-6 small forward from De La Salle High School in Chicago, picked the Hawkeyes in early March.

Iowa also received a verbal commitment from 6-7 sophomore Cordell Pemsel on May 1. Pemsl led Dubuque Wahlert to the Class 3A state title in March, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the title game.

The addition of Fleming will help fill the void at shooting guard after senior-to-be Josh Oglesby uses up his eligibility next season.

“This is a good fit,” Coleman said. “He’ll be the kind of player that will be able to step into that spot. He has shown the ability to be a very deadly streaky shooter from behind the (3-point) arc.”

Fleming said he knew very little about the state of Iowa or the University of Iowa before making his visit. He tweeted during his visit that he was blown away by what he saw.

“Everyone stereotypes it as cornfields, and that is not Iowa City at all,” Fleming said. “If you look at the college life, the campus life there are 30,000 (students) and everyone has so much fun. The fan base is amazing, and the campus is amazing.

“I feel like if I didn’t play basketball, I’d still go to Iowa.”

Fleming now plans to help Iowa as a recruiter. He claims to know about 150 of the top 200 players nationally in the 2015 class because of his extensive AAU experience.

McCaffery still has three scholarships available for the 2015 class. Landing a big, physical frontline player or two would seem to be a priority.

“It’s time to start making things happen,” Fleming said. “I know that coach McCaffery could use a really good (power forward) and (center) down the road.”

Fleming’s verbal commitment won’t become official until he signs a national letter of intent. The earliest he could do that is during the early signing period in November when he’s a senior.

NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from commenting publicly about a specific recruit before the recruit has signed a letter of intent.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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