For a long time, Andrew Fleming’s goal was to play Division I basketball.
Last summer, he discerned that playing at the highest level wasn’t the most important thing about choosing a school.
“I realized that it’s not really the division you play at; it’s more the best fit for you,” Fleming said.
The 6-foot-7 forward from South Paris visited the University of Maine on his NCAA official visit last week and has verbally committed to becoming a Black Bear for the 2016-2017 season.
“I just feel like they really want to win,” Fleming said. “With coach (Bob) Walsh being new, I think that they’re in a great spot and they’re going to be able to do that, and I just really want to be a part of that.”
Fleming, a left-handed shooter from Oxford Hills High School, also received scholarship offers from Division II Bentley and Stonehill.
“They were all really good options for me,” he said.
Fleming was intrigued by the challenge of helping UMaine turn things around after going 9-50 the last two seasons, including a dismal 5-23 last winter.
He is excited about the players Walsh and his staff have brought in and is impressed with the coaches.
“I really like the atmosphere,” Fleming said.
“They are really good coaches, and I liked being around them when I was up there and when I was talking with them over the recruitment process,” he added.
Fleming averaged 16.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.9 steals as a junior for coach Scott Graffam and earned a spot on the Bangor Daily News All-Maine Third Team.
He described himself as “a high-energy guy that can make plays, is always around the ball,” but knows he must improve his game, including his jump shot.
“I’ve been told that the biggest thing incoming freshmen have troubles with is defending,” Fleming said. “I’m going to be working on my strength a lot just to be ready for that next level.”
Fleming is on the Oxford Hills golf team and plans to play baseball next spring for the first time since 2013.
Fleming, who hopes to study business at UMaine, is expected to sign a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period, Nov. 11-18.
Walsh can’t comment on Fleming until UMaine has received the signed NLI.
Inconsistency plagues Collins
Quarterback Dan Collins continues to put up unspectacular numbers as UMaine moves into the middle third of the season.
The junior was 16-for-31 passing for 154 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Saturday’s loss at Richmond.
“You hit Danny’s middle name: It’s inconsistency,” said coach Jack Cosgrove, who saw solid play against Boston College and Rhode Island but less effectiveness in the Tulane and Richmond games.
“We missed some throws, just forced some things in there. The interception was a force,” he said.
For the season, Collins is 53-for-110 (48 percent) for only 580 yards (145 ypg) and a single TD with four interceptions.