UNLV will be in need of a point guard after this season, and the Rebels might have landed that player Thursday.
They picked up a commitment from Nick Fleming, a 6-foot sophomore at Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois. He averaged 10.6 points and 2.7 assists last season at Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College.
— Nick Fleming (@__Flemlife) September 26, 2019
When he was an assistant at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Highland coach Chad Boudreau recruited and coached formeer UNLV point guard Jordan Johnson and said Fleming compares favorably. Johnson was UNLV’s starting point guard two seasons ago, averaging 13.6 points and 6.0 assists.
“They’re not typical anymore, but (Fleming’s) a playmaking point guard,” Boudreau said. “He’s a pass-first guy. He really enjoys seeing his teammates succeed.”
Fleming is the fifth member of the Rebels’ 2020 recruiting class, which is rated 13th nationally, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. Those rankings, however, don’t include Fleming’s commitment.
Should UNLV land Bishop Gorman 6-6 forward Mwani Wilkinson, a four-star recruit, the Rebels could move into the top 10. In addition to the Rebels, Wilkinson is considering Louisiana State, Southern California, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt.
Fleming said he also was recruited by South Dakota State and Massachusetts-Lowell. As a junior college transfer, he’s an older player filling a specific but important need for the Rebels. Without Fleming or another player like him stepping in at point guard, the position would have been a major question going into 2020-21.
Texas graduate transfer Elijah Mitrou-Long is expected to start at that spot this season.
Nothing, however, is promised this far out for Fleming.
Rebels coach T.J. Otzelberger “wants me to come in and be a leader and just try to do my part,” said Fleming, who will visit UNLV in October. “He wants me to come in with great intensity and show my defensive skills at the level that they need me to play.”
Boudreau said Fleming “checks every box” for a program in the process of rebuilding.
“T.J. does a really good job of putting pieces together (for) what he wants,” Boudreau said. “He’s looking for different pieces to fill different spots, and he’s done a good job of identifying Nick. True point guards, I think, fit anywhere. But for how (the Rebels) want to play and the kind of guys T.J.’s going to get in there, he’s going to really fit in well.”