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May 22, 2013Had Andrew Fleming been his usual self on the court during the first session of the Nike EYBL circuit in Los Angeles last month, he likely would have been handed an official offer from Nebraska right there on the spot.
Unfortunately, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Nashville, Tenn., ended up popping a main blood vessel in his foot, which kept him on the bench for almost the entire session and prevented NU head coach Tim Miles and his assistants from getting the up-close evaluation needed before extending an offer.
Despite the setback, though, the Huskers have remained extremely interested in the 2015 standout, and have kept close tabs on his progress this spring while he plays for the St. Louis Eagles AAU program. When the NCAA recruiting evaluation periods open back up in July, expect Miles and Co. to be court side to watch Fleming in action once again. If all goes as expected, Nebraska will likely be the latest school to join his growing offer list.
HuskerOnline.com caught up with Fleming at last week's EYBL session in Dallas, and he said he's maintained regular contact with NU's coaching staff, particularly lead recruiter Craig Smith.
"I talked with Coach Smith on the phone for like 30 minutes right before I left to come here (Dallas)," Fleming said. "Me and him had a really good talk. He was really excited about everything, and he wants to see me play one more time before they think about offering me, but they're really interested. They just want to recruit good kids, and I think I'm one of those guys that they want."
Last season as a sophomore at The Ensworth School (Tenn.), Fleming the Tigers with 21 points per game, including several 30-point efforts and a stretch where he scored 40 or more in three straight games. He currently holds offers from Florida, Vanderbilt, Memphis and Auburn. He also said schools like Butler, Clemson, Iowa State, Notre Dame and Michigan State have all shown heavy interest lately, and expects a number of them to extend offers by the end of the summer.
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Fleming said he plans on taking an unofficial visit to Florida at some point this summer, as he talks with Gators head coach Billy Donovan at least once a week. He said other unofficials at this point could include Clemson and Butler, but that could change depending on what happens over the course of the next couple months.
As for Nebraska, even though he doesn't hold an offer yet, Fleming said he was very excited about everything Smith has told him about the program. In particular, Fleming said the opportunity to be one of the key pieces to help turn the Huskers into contenders in the Big Ten Conference was one of the most appealing selling points.
"It's definitely humbling, because I know that if I keep working on my game I could go there and help turn their program around to the point where they're a top team in the Big Ten and in the country, where guys just want to start flooding into that school," Fleming said. "I think it just takes that one or two guys, and maybe I can be that guy.
"With Nebraska, I know that want to go somewhere where I can be successful. If they can show me that I can be successful there, then that makes them definitely a great option."
Fleming also said a strong relationship with the coaching staff and his future teammates was an important part in deciding on a school. Through his contact with Nebraska thus far, Fleming said the Huskers seem to offer exactly what he's looking for in that regard.
"Coach Smith told me they've got a nice school with a lot of kids and a great environment, so that's very attractive," Fleming said. "He was telling me about all the fun that they have and all the good kids that they have on the team. Just the relationship with the coaches that I'm sure we'll build over the years will only get better and better. So you never know what will happen."
While Fleming still has plenty of time ahead of him to make his decision, he said he really doesn't have a timeframe in mind.
"I think that as soon as I know in my heart and I pray about it and talk to my family about it, I think that I'm not going to try and hold it out," Fleming said. "I'm not that type of guy to want to have all the attention around me. I know that as soon as I know, I'll make that decision, whether that may be this summer or the summer after that. As soon as I know, I'll make that decision."