BYH, there are a lot of people having anxiety attacks as more and more are awakening to the possibility that we have a...

Fleming bringing winning, vibrant personality

1 of 2

ECU's Isaac Fleming (0) drives the lane against Campbell's Damontez Oliver (1) on Dec. 4 in Minges Coliseum.


By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

When the basketball season began, there were more holes in East Carolina’s roster than there were viable players to fill them, and the Pirates’ dreadful 2-4 start reflected that.

Head coach Jeff Lebo resigned amid that unprecedented low, and with him out an even bigger piece of the team’s identity was gone.

That low point served as a springboard, however, and the Pirates’ three-game win streak has come with a new personality behind interim coach Michael Perry. Driving a good deal of that newness, and driving home a handful of recent clutch shots, is junior transfer guard Isaac Fleming.

He is a dominant new voice on the team, as evidenced by the time he already has spent behind the microphone during ECU postgame news conferences. On the floor, he is a relentless pursuer of the rim, serving as the team’s engine in consecutive come-from-behind wins.

The voice has brought a little competitive swagger, a little fire and even some humor to that mic when called upon to sum up games, even walking back senior teammate B.J. Tyson’s comment about trying to “win a national championship” after they came back to beat Campbell last Monday. 

“As a team, you’re supposed to come in thinking you can win a national championship, and just having that hunger and dedication, but our main goal is to finish in the top of the American (Athletic Conference) and go for that American championship and just surprise a lot of people,” Fleming said.

The Wilmington, Del., native poured in a team-best 19 points and dished off four assists in the Pirates’ 69-66 win over the Camels. Two nights before that, it was 17 points and four assists in a win over Delaware State and in the team’s overtime thriller against UNCW, Fleming scorched the Seahawks for 21 points.

His season-high was 23 against North Carolina A&T, and he said finding his scoring touch after a required year off following his transfer from Hawaii was simply about letting his athleticism take charge.

“I was just really not going out there thinking, and I feel like that’s what I did the first couple of games,” Fleming said of bursting out of his early-season slump. “Being out for a year, it was really just a slow start. Really, it’s the whole mental thing. My whole approach to the game now is just go out there and be you. Don’t overthink it and things will happen for you.”

Fleming has seemingly adopted the philosophy of his new coach when it comes to style of play and tempo. Both said it played a critical role in upending the Camels after trailing by as many as 17 in the second half.

“It was really us slowing down and playing out our pace, not letting them dictate where we were going to go,” said Fleming, who has not hit a 3-pointer in his last three games but instead has done his damage off the dribble. “We basically told ourselves we’re the better team and we shouldn’t be turning the ball over to these guys.”

The Pirates have needed big shots in big moments to help reverse their early fortunes, and even though he has not been a deep threat, it has often been Fleming driving the lane in game-changing moments.

“He’s been clutch, man,” Perry said. “I think it was the Cleveland State game, he had eight points in like 2 minutes. He’s a winner and it’s reflected in his play out there.”

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


July 22, 2018

CARY — Larry Fedora and Scottie Montgomery both had similar feelings last fall in not liking losing, but having to deal with those outcomes.

It is part of the reason why the football coaches — Fedora for North Carolina and Montgomery for East Carolina — were similar with their…

Louisville North Carolina Football-7

July 18, 2018

CARY — Duke football coach David Cutcliffe was asked Monday during the Bill Dooley Pigskin Preview about nightmares he has in his profession.

He joked that one involves facing a North Carolina offense and N.C. State defense during the same game. He was sitting next to East Carolina third-year…

IMG_1556 (1).jpg

July 16, 2018

CARY — The 16th annual Bill Dooley Pigskin Preview followed tradition Monday and turned into part comedy act by the five coaches involved and part serious football talk.

East Carolina third-year coach Scottie Montgomery and N.C. Central interim coach Granville Eastman were joined by Atlantic…

IMG_1538 (1).jpg

July 16, 2018

Speaking engagements and vacation time for college football coaches will turn into full preseason practices in less than a month, but for now there is still some balancing of obligations.

First-year East Carolina defensive coordinator David Blackwell has worked on specific details with his players…


July 15, 2018

David Blackwell has coached college football at Pittsburgh and South Florida, which is located in Tampa.

He said it was easy to recognize that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL are kings in those cities.

He also is a former East Carolina football player and student…


July 14, 2018

The Cuba team put together an abundance on runs Saturday for a 15-4 victory over the visiting USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, but USA still finished its summer with a 12-3 record and won all three of its international series.

The Americans featured East Carolina head coach Cliff Godwin as…


July 12, 2018

The success of a profitable NCAA baseball regional held at Clark-LeClair Stadium in June and positive vibes from fans at recent Pirate Club armada events had officials optimistic at Thursday’s Athletics and Advancement Committee portion of the East Carolina Board of Trustees meeting, but the…

060218RegionalGame2-1.jpg (1).jpg

July 12, 2018

East Carolina standout and Greenville native Bryant Packard went 2-for-4 as the leadoff hitter in Game 1 for the USA Collegiate National Team in the USA vs. Cuba series in Havana, Cuba, on Tuesday night.

Game 2 on Wednesday night saw ECU pitcher Jake Agnos throw four innings with three…


July 12, 2018

July is a big month for college football fans to soak up preseason hype in the form of magazines, predictions and projections of all kinds.

These things have not been kind already to East Carolina, which has posted consecutive 3-9 seasons under coach Scottie Montgomery.

The Phil Steele Preview…


July 11, 2018

A major “wow moment” happened for Blake Taylor before he even teed off last Thursday at The Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., for his PGA Tour debut.

It came Tuesday during a practice round for the East Carolina rising junior while playing with PGA veteran Jim Furyk.…

187 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 19
        Next Page»   Last Page»