Tennessee’s frontline will be getting a big boost this season with the immediate addition of UNC Wilmington transfer John Fields.
The 6-foot-9, 230-pound Fields has one year of eligibility remaining.
“I’ll get my scholarship papers (Friday) or Monday, and I’ll sign them,’’ said Fields, who attended Thursday night’s Pilot Rocky Top League championship game at Bearden High School. “I just felt it was right when I got to Knoxville today, saw the campus and these fans.
“I’ve been a fan of Tennessee for a long time and this is my chance to help them sustain their success. It’s a chance to win a championship.’’
Fields can transfer and be eligible immediately because he has graduated from school and is interested in a graduate degree that UNC Wilmington doesn’t offer.
He had already made visits to Xavier, Rutgers and Miami.
Fields, who set UNC Wilmington’s single-season record with 59 blocked shots and averaged 10.2 points and 8.7 rebounds last season, played his first two seasons at East Carolina and sat out his first year at UNC Wilmington before playing last season.
Former UT coach Buzz Peterson recently took over at UNC Wilmington after the team went 9-22 last season.
The Vols were in dire need of another big man after losing starting post Wayne Chism. Returning senior Brian Williams is UT’s only true post; rising sophomore Kenny Hall has expressed the desire and shown the ability to also play power forward.
“Coach (Bruce) Pearl is a great coach, and he’s explained my role to me,’’ Fields said. “I’ll be in there to block shots, rebound and provide depth on the front line. I was interested as soon as I got a call from them.’’