Fleming Visiting Iowa

The Iowa coaching staff continues to comb the country for pieces to help take its program farther up the Big Ten standings. One player in their sights is Tennessee sharp-shooter, Andrew Fleming. The Team Thad and Oak Hill Academy product will visit the Hawkeyes on Friday. He talked with HI about that stop and the rest of his recruitment.

Andrew Fleming entered the AAU season known as a shooter. He broke open that description at April's Jam Fest in Pittsburgh.

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound guard knocked down outside shots at the event but he also displayed a well-rounded game.

"I'm not sure I shocked anybody but I think I surprised some people with how I played," Fleming said.

That performance boosted Fleming's stock. College coaches have moved him up their prospect list for 2015.

Iowa has been recruiting Fleming since before his recent outburst. He's scheduled to visit the school this Friday.

"Coach (Sherman) Dillard told me that Coach (Fran) McCaffery saw me play last summer on the AAU circuit with the Saint Louis Eagles. Then they followed up with me this season. (Dillard) said they are very, very interested. I don't know where they are offer wise. I think we'll talk more about that on Friday. Maybe it comes Friday. I don't know," Fleming said.

Fleming reports scholarship offers from a large number of schools but said he is focused on opportunities from Florida, Vanderbilt, Memphis, UNLV and Nebraska right now. Iowa could could join that group with an offer.

"Coach McCaffery's style fits with how I play. I know that if I played for him, I'd probably be very successful. I think it would be a very good fit. I've heard good things about the campus and the student life and everything the school is about. Iowa football, and all of that, that stuff is awesome. Overall, just the relationship I've built with Coach Dillard and the good things that I've heard about Coach McCaffery and his coaching style is really why I'm so interested," Fleming said.

Fleming began his high school career at Providence High (Jacksonville, FL) as an eighth-grader. Florida's Patric Young played on the team and that's when Gator Coach Billy Donovan started recruiting him.

"He was the first coach to ever contact me. They've been there the whole time. He sees me as a Michael Frazier type that can just fill it up," Fleming said.

Fleming's mother took a job in Nashville a few months before his freshman year. He enrolled at Ensworth High there and led the Tigers to three state championships while winning the state's Mr. Basketball Award. Vanderbilt took notice.

"Vanderbilt has got quite a few commits now. Some of them are verbals and some are in ink. Maybe one or two of those kids might want to change their minds or leave. You know how that goes. Vandy is still in it. I can see why people would say Florida and Vandy lead for me because I was born in Florida and I live 10 minutes from Vandy, but I haven't narrowed anything down," Fleming said.

Fleming recently announced that he would play his final prep season at Virginia's Oak Hill Academy. Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo and Jerry Stackhouse played for the school.

"Coach (Steve) Smith from Oak Hill has been on me pretty hard. This next year, the main focus is to get better. To be honest, I'm going to selfishly use that time to work on my game to get ready to play college ball. I've made so many good friends at Ensworth and it's sad that I have to go but it's a decision that I made that I think is going to be best for my basketball. I love all the people at my school but it's just a opportunity I couldn't pass up," Fleming said.

Fleming aims to develop an even more well-rounded game in hopes of shaking the "shooter" distinction placed on him.

"I think I can do a whole lot more than that. I'm starting to get labeled as that and I don't like it. People don't know that I'm pushing like a 35-36 inch vertical. I can do things athletically that a lot of kids can't. I can score in multiple ways. I think once people see me play they can see that I can do a whole lot more than just shoot," he said.

Fleming is running with Team Thad out of Memphis this AAU season after being on the St. Louis Eagles a year ago. He's coming off a Jam Fest performance that saw him drain 12 three-pointers, shooting 42 percent from behind the arc and leading his squad in scoring.

Fleming said he would let his recruitment ride through the July evaluation period. From there he will sit down with his family to discuss his options in hopes of making a decision within the first month of the school year.

"I kind of want to make a list but I know that July, if I play well, what that can do. I don't want to make it seem like I'm school shopping at all because that's definitely not what I'm doing. I'm just trying to find the best fit. Iowa definitely could be that," he said.

A strong bond with the coaches and a comfortable campus feel rate as the two most important things on his wish list, Fleming said. He's still deciding on a college major.

"I'm hoping to take my game where I can play professionally, either here in the states or overseas. But basketball ends so you have to have an education to fall back on at some point. Academics play a big role and are very important to my mom as well," he said.

Fleming said the plan is for him to spend one day at Iowa before returning to Nashville Friday night or Saturday morning.

"Coach Dillard said he would give me an itinerary when I get there. I'm going to bring my gear in case there's a chance to play with the guys. The coaches can't watch but it would be nice to get a feel for their roster and how I would fit," he said.

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