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StarBulletin.com

Flemings holds key to Hawaii's fortunes


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POSTED: Sunday, November 08, 2009

In Rod we trust.

Once again, the fortunes of the Hawaii men's basketball team fall primarily on the broad shoulders of senior swingman Roderick Flemings. An All-WAC second-teamer a year ago, the 6-foot-7, 210-pound Flemings is determined to build upon his junior campaign and improve both the Rainbow Warriors' standing in the Western Athletic Conference and his own stock for the 2010 NBA Draft.

Flemings will draw the bulk of teams' attention at the wing position, as he can face up larger, slower defenders outside or post up lighter players and crash the boards with abandon.

“;Rod is our horse. He's a guy who's going to carry a lot of the load for us this year again,”; coach Bob Nash said. “;He draws a lot of attention. But the thing about Rod is, he's a team guy. He's not just a selfish guy who's just about him. Look at Rod, how he scores his points, it's all hustle stuff. He's not a great outside shooter, but he works hard on the offensive board, tip-ins, get out in transition. Good, quick post-ups. So we expect him to continue to do that.

“;We're going to ride him as far as he'll take us.”;

                       

        ”;Rod is our horse. He's a guy who's going to carry a lot of the load for us this year again. He draws a lot of attention. But the thing about Rod is, he's a team guy. He's not just a selfish guy who's just about him. Look at Rod, how he scores his points, it's all hustle stuff.”;
        -Bob Nash / UH head coach, on the team's leading scorer, senior Roderick Flemings

The transfer from Weatherford College (Texas) led the Rainbows with 16.6 points per game in 2008-09 and was the team's top offensive rebounder with 79. A deft passer, he was second on the team in assists behind Kareem Nitoto, and led the WAC in scoring for much of the season until dipping late as opponents, observing Hawaii's general inability to knock down 3-pointers, gradually loaded up on him with double and triple teams.

Flemings was inhibited by a pulled groin and possible lower abdominal strain during the preseason, causing him to play limited minutes in Hawaii's two exhibitions. But the coaches agreed he arrived in the fall as an improved player after visiting prominent clinics, such as the adidas Nations Camp in Texas.

“;His injury's kind of slowed him, but I think he's still physically much bigger and stronger, and I think he's going to have a big senior year, hopefully,”; said associate coach Jackson Wheeler. “;Obviously, a lot (depends on him making a leap). Our backcourt play will be better, I think, and that'll help him a lot.”;

Supporting Flemings at the wings will be 6-8, 195-pound senior Adhar Mayen. A part-time starter last year, the lithe Mayen has a height advantage over most players he faces on the perimeter and has the capacity to drain jumpers when he's feeling it. He's also been lauded by the coaches for his improved play.

“;Rod can't play as many minutes this year (team-high 36 per game last year),”; Wheeler said. “;We need Adhar to be solid. He can play some 2 (shooting guard). We need some minutes there in the backcourt, too, because we really only have three guards. I think he'll have a solid senior year, he has a good attitude, and he's a good outside shooter. We need some of that, some consistent perimeter shooting.”;

Division I transfers Aleksandar Milovic (6-7, 220, Duquesne) and Zane Johnson (6-5, 205, Arizona) can both stretch the floor with their shooting, but cannot suit up in games for the Rainbows this season per NCAA rules. Johnson had knee surgery in the fall and isn't expected to help the team in practices until the spring. Milovic aids the scout team as he continues to learn the flex offense.

Sophomore walk-on Beau Albrechtson (6-4, 205) remains a hard worker at practices and is a valuable scout. The Kaimuki grad is hunting for his first career points this season.

 

THE WINGS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
No. PlayerHt.Wt.Cl.Key Stats
23 Roderick Flemings6-7210Sr.All-WAC 2nd team; led UH in scoring (16.6)
24 Adhar Mayen6-8195Sr.Played in all 30 games, 4.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg
15 Beau Albrechtson6-4205So.Appeared briefly in 3 games as freshman
33 Aleksander Milovic6-7220So.Transfer from Duquesne will sit out season
3 Zane Johnson6-5205Jr.Transfer from Arizona will sit out season