Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cornell Takes Commitment from Desmond Fleming

Cornell has added a commitment from Desmond "Dez" Fleming (College Park Woodlands HS) Woodlands, TX, 6-0, G.  

Fleming and College Park High School are coached by former University of Houston assistant coach, Clifton McNeely.  Fleming played club basketball during the summer for Gulf Coast Blue Chips AAU under Angelo Randerson.

Fleming is an excellent student and reportedly maintains a 4.85 GPA on a 5.0 scale and is ranked academically No. 38 out of 601 in his high school class. On the court, RCS Sports ranks Fleming No. 64 in the Houston area (while ranking fellow Cornell commit, Robert Hatter (Westside HS) Houston, TX, 6-1, G, No. 16). Fleming was also listed by Vype Magazine in the Preseason Top 100 List for the Guy V. Lewis Award, given to the top player in the city.  Flemming also runs track for College Park HS.

The Cornell Basketball Blog spoke with Fleming's AAU coach, Angelo Randerson about Fleming.

"I've known Dez since he was in 6th grade, I've coached him for years, he's like a younger brother to me." When asked to describe Fleming's game, Randerson replied, "He's a hard nose point guard, he just has exceptional speed, he can't be stopped in the open court." He continued, "That's why Cornell recruited him. That is what they told us they wanted. They loved his speed and ability to create his own shot off the dribble and he is a lock down defender." When asked for Fleming's natural position, Randerson replied, "He was originally a 2-guard [earlier in his career], but a lot of college coaches asked him to become a point guard for the next level, so since last summer, we really were working on his point guard play."

Randerson stressed that Fleming must work on his perimeter shooting before college as he we was only a mid .300 three-point shooter at the high school level. "But he has one of the best mid range pull up games in the area." Randerson elaborated, "He's not an above the rim guy, but he is a crafty scorer, has a high nice floater [in the lane], he gets contact [and gets to the free throw line]... He's a mid .700s free throw shooter."

Randerson credited Cornell assistant coaches, Mike Blaine and Marlon Sears as his lead recruiters for Cornell. "Last summer he was offered a scholarship by the University of New Hampshire, but it was not what he was looking for academically." Randerson noted, "Cornell was not one of the first schools to get involved... they kind of came in late in the process, the schools that were on him first were New Hampshire, Columbia, Penn...Southeast Louisiana, Air Force.... and Texas Pan American." He explained that Fleming attended Columbia's Elite Camp last summer but the Lions ultimately never offered and as of February 2013, Fleming was nearly ready to commit to the Division III level at Emory University. But when Cornell offered in March 2013, Fleming immediately committed.

The Woodlands Villager published a story on the commitment.  The Villager writes:
College Park senior Desmond Fleming averaged 12 points on 51.8 percent shooting, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game this season. He will play collegiately for the Cornell Big Red. 
College Park basketball player Desmond Fleming has been a key contributor for the Cavaliers during his high school years, and now he will get the opportunity to continue his career in the Empire State.
The senior point guard verbally committed to Ivy League member Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.), and made his big announcement to the world through Twitter on Monday evening.
“It’s a really great feeling,” Fleming said. “It’s just a big weight off my chest to know I’ll be able to further my education at a top-tier academic school, but also to be able to play the sport that I love. It can’t get any better than that for me.”
College Park coach Clifton McNeely said Fleming has been one of the staples of his program over the past few years, and that it’s very rewarding as a coach to see his player accomplish so much.
“He’s been a tremendous leader and a tremendous competitor for us,” McNeely said. “He has a tremendous work ethic, he’s goal-oriented and he’s always strived for greater things. His ambition and his goal when he first came in was that he wanted to play college basketball. He’s now at that point where he’s going to have the opportunity to see his dream come true.”
Fleming, who averaged 12 points per game this past season and has a 4.9 GPA, said he is excited about the opportunity to play collegiate basketball, even though he’ll be more than 1,600 miles from home.
“I’m looking forward to competing at a high level and competing for a starting spot at point guard as a freshman,” Fleming said. “And also being able to meet a lot of new and different people and a lot of kids that are dedicated to academics as well.”

Below, some highlights of Desmond Fleming...


Anonymous said...

Fleming = future Lou Dale
Hatter = future Lou Dale

Double the Dale, double the wins

Anonymous said...

Cornell is not taking low D-I/D-III kids because it needs the roster space...oh wait.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Tim Higgins gave Cornell a spot.

Anonymous said...

That's what you said about Hatter.

You can't reasonably deny that after hearing some of the names associated with the program this fall, and landing none, that this has added to the disappointing season.

Anonymous said...

Btw, should add that this makes more sense if there's a floor kid on his way in.

If not, then hopefully Fleming helps the program, and he sounds like a smart kid who wants a great education (which he will surely get).

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

This is not complicated.

The class was supposed to be 3-4 guys max.

The idea was to trim down the roster and to be selective with only getting guys that can help.

When Higgins decommitted, Cornell was down to 1 commit (Onuorah).

Then with 6 seniors leaving, including the sudden and unexpected departure of Errick Peck, Cornell suddenly had much more room/flexibility with its roster.

Specifically, Cornell could take as many as 4 kids this year and still trim the roster by 2 spots (due to the 6 departing seniors--Figini,Chemerinski,Gray,McMillan,Peck,MilesAA).

Cornell badly needed PG depth. Cornell swung for the fences with Julian Jacobs. The Big Red did not take any point guards until Julian decided in late November to go with USC.

During December-January, Cornell moved to its other options.

Hatter was a great, great late pick up.

He's not Julian, he's different, but he fills a need.

Fleming makes sense for Cornell as a 3rd commit. (1) a space in the class was vacated by Tim Higgins, thus there was an opening; (2) Fleming has an excellent academic/financial aid profile making it easy (a no brainer) to take him; (3) Cornell badly needs help at point guard, so he is another good prospect to throw into the mix and see if he can/compete help; (4) By losing Miles A-A, Cornell really needed another defensive minded specialist, (5) All of the prior items make this commitment a no risk, high reward pick-up for all parties involved.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Should add Harvard took Matt Fraschilla this season for almost identical reasons.

Anonymous said...

True- However looking at the rest of Harvard's class they can "afford" to take the Fraschilla's of the world; not to mention their current roster is loaded. We do not have that luxury!!

Anonymous said...

Not opposed to low risk players at this stage of the game. But given our needs and the gap in talent with Harvard, we'd been holding out hope for a game changing player at the 1-3. That hasn't happened, so of course there's going to be a let down.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

And Harvard lost how many games already?

Anonymous said...

need a true 3 man badly. No matter how much CBB insists Cressler can play the 3, it really isn't the case.

Anonymous said...

A lot fewer losses than we have.

Anon 2:09 is spot on: DIII kids-level aren't going to help us with a serious "rebuilding". This blog knows it, and has repeatedly said that the program needs big time talents.

Focusing on Harvard's inconsistent performance this season misses the point. It's sorta like global warming: the warning signs are there, and you can either bury your head in the sand and pretend it isn't happening (eg complaining about their misuse of roster spaces or saying they haven't won an NCAA game) or try to counter it with meaningful action (ie getting big time talents and spanking them, like we did when we were a legit powerhouse).

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Peck is not a 3. He is a "tweener" and has no natural position-- he is between the 3 and 4.

A true 3 is a perimeter threat. Peck is not a three-point shooter.

He is great in the open court with a full speed charge, but the half court is where he struggles.

Fleming was added to bolster the backcourt (and to see if he can compete). No playing time is guaranteed to anyone. But Fleming will be given an opportunity.

Hatter had a bunch of offers from some quality programs. He'll be a nice option to help out our veteran PGs-- Cancer and Scelfo.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Desmond Fleming! Go Big Red!

There is an enormous difference between HS and College, and some people continue to improve, while others do not (at least relatively speaking) and so much depends on the "Heart" of the player - and how the guys mesh together. Plus anybody who does not shoot 80% FT in collge has not focused, practiced, and cared about being better. The HS ratings are nice PR, but real competition comes in college. The new players can be very helpful to Cornell.

Anonymous said...

Agree Peck is a tweener.

Fleming should have been a walk-on.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

There is very little practical difference between an Ivy "walk on" and a recruit that has no need for an academic boost from the Athletics Department or supplemented financial aid.

Again, both Higgins and Fleming were no brainers based on academics/financials and long term potential to help.

Cornell had some studs seriously involved and there were some excruciating near misses. Fortunately, none of the misses were lost to other Ivies. There is no shame in losing kids to places like Cincy and USC. And we happened to get a couple kids--- that you have not seen play yet--- over Auburn and Washington State.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

There was another "game changer" type that was in the mix, but he can't commit due to lack of satisfactory financial aid. This particular recruit remains uncommitted but has a bunch of BCS offers.

Anonymous said...

I think CCB is correct about Cressler being able to play the 3 position. A 6'4" freshman he is averaging 9.0 pts, 3.4 rebounds, shoots 0ver 40% from 3 pt and 76% on FT. He seldom turns the ball over and does not take bad shots. His defense should be better by next year. I think he averaged about 26 PPG in HS.

Anonymous said...

For what its worth, Brown is close to adding a point guard to its 2013 class. Mike Martin is putting in his work.

q'nis said...

"Plus anybody who does not shoot 80% FT in collge has not focused, practiced, and cared about being better."


Probably the dumbest comment I've read on this blog, and there have been many.