John Fields enrolls at UT; Pearl impressed with transfer

John Fields

Photo by UNC-Wilmington Athletics

John Fields

John Fields has become coach Bruce Pearl’s first one-and-done player, albeit, not of the conventional variety.

Fields, a fifth-year senior with one year of eligibility remaining, has completed his transfer from UNC Wilmington to join Tennessee’s basketball program and started summer classes Monday.

The 6-foot-9, 230-pounder has graduated with his bachelor’s degree, and NCAA rules stipulate Fields be eligible immediately because his graduate study field of choice, Sport Management, isn’t offered at UNC Wilmington.

Fields’ pending waiver request to the NCAA is considered a formality.

Pearl considers Fields’ presence on the front line a necessity for the Vols to make another deep NCAA tournament run.

“We lost our starting three, four and five from last year,’’ Pearl said, referring to UT’s original front line last season of Tyler Smith, Wayne Chism and J.P. Prince.

“You look at the SEC and you see a common denominator,’’ he said. “Kentucky, Georgia, Florida and Vanderbilt all have very good, deep front lines.

“The only inside guys we’re returning are Kenny Hall and Brian Williams.’’

Fields, who also visited Xavier, Rutgers and Miami, set a UNC Wilmington single-season record with 59 blocked shots and had a school-record 21 rebounds in a game against Towson.

Pearl said Fields can play post or power forward.

“It’s a motivator for Kenny and Brian, as they both played complimentary roles last season and they’ll be challenged by John,’’ Pearl said. “John is a college graduate, and he’s very mature. Defensively, he’s ready.

“He can box you out and rebound, and he plays hard and fits our style of play; he can run.’’

Pearl said the addition of Fields clears the path for junior Renaldo Woolridge to return his focus to playing on the wing while also affording Hall more time at power forward.

Woolridge will compete with junior Cameron Tatum and incoming freshman Jordan McRae on the wing, while incoming freshman Tobias Harris has been penciled in as the starter at power forward.

Senior Steven Pearl also will play on the wing and power forward as matchups dictate after proving his worth as a defensive stopper and team energizer coming off the bench last season.

“Joining the Vols is an incredible opportunity that I’m blessed for,” Fields said in a UT release. “I’m ready to help the team in whatever capacity I can and advance far in the NCAA tournament.

“The relationship I’ve been able to develop already with Coach Pearl and the rest of the coaches has been amazing. I felt right at home and felt like I fit in perfectly.”

Fields announced his commitment July 1 while attending the Pilot Rocky Top League championship game at Bearden High School.

Fields led UNC Wilmington with 8.7 rebounds per game last season and was second in scoring with 10.2 points per game, shooting better than 53 percent from the floor with a team-high 33 dunks.

He spent his first two years at East Carolina, earning Conference USA All-Freshman honors in 2006-07. Fields averaged 9.6 points and 5.4 rebounds as sophomore with the Pirates, moving up to No. 2 on the school’s all-time blocked-shots list with 104 rejections in two seasons.

Originally from Fayetteville, N.C., Fields will wear the No. 25.

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Comments » 51

BigBadVol writes:

Welcome John! Make the Vol faithful proud.

gbeejr#1354500 writes:

Looks like a good inside player. Hope he doesn't play far from the paint as BP appears to imply - we got enough perimeter players.

Volsfan2456 writes:

We need the inside presence. Big Body in the paint is a need. Way to go Bruce. Keep em coming. GO VOLS!

FearlessFreep writes:

Fills a need, plus a good student. Nice pickup to address the lack of big men this season. Pearl and crew are very, very good.

baldfan writes:

can he play defensive line or safety?

springtx_vol writes:

This is a great type of one and done player! Here's hoping he can fit in chemistry wise. This gives us another post to play with Williams and let Hall and Harris move to forwards more.

Can we repeat an Elite Eight trip? Things are looking better. How far will Hopson carry this team offensively?

huntined#565710 writes:

I like the way he goes to the rim with BOTH hands.
Glad to have him as a VOL

keepitreal4vols writes:

Sounds like he's not scared to get down low and fight for a rebound. Welcome to Big Orange Country.

NashvillePreds writes:

Stay away from Bar Knoxville.

Brillovol writes:

Excellent pickup on many levels. He's another warm body to go in and bruise the opposing players in the post, he sounds like a good defender, and his 1 year of eligibility balances out our scholarships per year.

SmyrnaMan writes:

can he play DT?

Chris4Vols22 writes:

This is a great addition! Exactly what we needed the most.

Let's cut out the Bar Knoxville jabs, UT basketball doesn't deserve the lowly comments of our lowly football team.

ddayvolsfan#238252 writes:

Welcome to Big Orange Country. Looking forward to watching you and the VOLS play this year. Final 4, here we come!!!

tomatosoup writes:

Just make sure you eat plenty of soup....tomato soup! Go Big Organge!

carbonzip writes:

You have to hand it BP. Solid student athletes performing at a very high level!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Welcome to Big Orange Country, Mr.Fields!!! Make yourself at home and enjoy your experience on Rocky Top!!!

This definitely fills that need for another big man in the middle who can rebound relentlessly..Sounds like he can do it all.

Basketball season is gonna be fun!!! WOOOOHOOOO!!

Bigger_Al writes:

I like it. But...

He was at East Carolina for two years, and then at UNC-Wilmington for one. Third school in his college career.

Bottom line: In BRUCE we trust!

BrassMonkey writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

This is a great addition! Exactly what we needed the most.

Let's cut out the Bar Knoxville jabs, UT basketball doesn't deserve the lowly comments of our lowly football team.

I agree. They carry guns and drugs and stay away from petty bar fighting.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

This is a great addition! Exactly what we needed the most.

Let's cut out the Bar Knoxville jabs, UT basketball doesn't deserve the lowly comments of our lowly football team.

Like heck you say.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

I agree. They carry guns and drugs and stay away from petty bar fighting.

Though they did, I didn't see the part where the basketball players assaulted or robbed anybody...you know, violent crimes.

virginiavolfan writes:

Be interesting to see if he plays more than Steven Pearl. I bet he does not.

brod writes:

i don't think that he can replace chism, but he can help.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to virginiavolfan:

Be interesting to see if he plays more than Steven Pearl. I bet he does not.

Different positions, a comparison cannot be made. Fields will be 2nd in rotation behind Williams, so he'll be playing a good bit. Steven will probably see an equal number of minutes, either backing up Cam or Tobias.

What point are you trying to make?

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to brod:

i don't think that he can replace chism, but he can help.

Who said he's replacing Chism? Like it or not, Williams is doing that. I wouldn't dwell in the past so much....that's more of a football kind of thing.

SouthKnoxTrojan writes:

Hopefully, he complement and push big Brian.

Williams needs to continue to improve.

VolfanKY writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

This is a great addition! Exactly what we needed the most.

Let's cut out the Bar Knoxville jabs, UT basketball doesn't deserve the lowly comments of our lowly football team.

Come on, why are you bashing any area of Tennessee athletics? There will always be guys who mess up, but it doesn't mean you have to start attacking a certain sport or that you should make generalizations. All UT student-athletes deserve our support. GBO!

WytheVol writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

Though they did, I didn't see the part where the basketball players assaulted or robbed anybody...you know, violent crimes.

Stereotyping an entire sport is a bit rediculous. I didn't see where the whole FB team was at Bar Knoxville, just like the whole BB team wasn't in the car back in January. However, a point can be made that a larger percentage of the BB Team was disciplined than ever will happen in football. But the point is, all FB players aren't thugs, just like all BB players aren't the best mentors. Give it a rest.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to VolfanKY:

Come on, why are you bashing any area of Tennessee athletics? There will always be guys who mess up, but it doesn't mean you have to start attacking a certain sport or that you should make generalizations. All UT student-athletes deserve our support. GBO!

I am commenting on one specific area. It shouldn't have even been brought up on this basketball article.

I'm in no way opposed to the football team or student-athletes. I just think our football team is going to be irrelevant for the next few years (though I hope NOT). I know it's difficult to understand, but I care WAY WAY WAY more about UT basketball than football.

VolPatrick writes:

In my mind, any on the floor contributions this young man makes are of secondary importance. To have a player on the bench who has done the right thing and completed his undergraduate studies is a wonderful thing, given the loss of leadership from last year. Hopefully, of course, he'll help to fill in around the glass and on the boards.

Congratulations on graduating John, and welcome to UT.

bUTchVFL writes:

After this last BB season, I will not doubt BP's decision making any more. Let him do what he is paid to do. GBO!

miatatom writes:

Welcome to BO country, John. Please practice shooting free throws.

dvsvol writes:

in response to virginiavolfan:

Be interesting to see if he plays more than Steven Pearl. I bet he does not.

I liked Steven's minutes - all-out effort. What would you ask of him, oh negative one?

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to FreeTDTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Scoring is just gravy."

I always you assumed you were someone else on this board. But now I know...You are really Kevin O'Neill.

oskie_score writes:

Welcome John! Good luck in Grad School!

Like Fields attitude!
His maturity will be as big an asset to this team as his grunt work inside.

Should help Halls development while pushing Williams to become more consistently aggressive as well.

Nice p/u CBP!

Jakevol writes:

Good deal. We need inside guys. UNCW loss.

gtownvol writes:

John, a hearty welcome to the Vol Nation! We look forward to you helping to further the winning traditions of UT Basketball. GBO!!

TommyJack writes:

What we need? Some legitimate fans. Not many on here.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to TommyJack:

What we need? Some legitimate fans. Not many on here.

Tommy J

You are right on. Someone has a basketball subject, and lo and behold..............here a few of them come, the Steven Pearl haters, and other negative so and so's who will always find something wrong with every Tennessee sport.

It gets weary, those and of course..........the trolls.

Colliervol writes:

in response to TommyJack:

What we need? Some legitimate fans. Not many on here.

It has gone down since this thing started, hasn't it TJ?

Chris4Vols22 writes:

To the three above: hi, you can reply to my posts. Don't question my fandom.

Now, do you have anything to contribute to the discussion of this exact article?

Chris4Vols22 writes:

Ok, it's hard to really get behind Steven's game because he's not offensively productive. However, everyone needs to get off his case because he's playing fairly well and he's going to get the minutes. You know what happened when we gave him minutes last season? Elite 8. Like I said, I know it's difficult (haha), but he deserves some praise.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Cool. Give it your all to UT for a season!

HallowedHill writes:

Welcome aboard, big guy.

GO VOLS!

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He has a clean NCAA record from what I can see (checked a few sites, Googled a bit). I don't really see what difference it makes if he goes to church or leads a Sunday school class.

He's older, probably more mature than most of the team. His Facebook page is modest, he seems like a good guy, much like Tobias Harris.

VolFanNC writes:

This is a pretty big get for a one and done season. This moves us from a top 15 team to a top 10 or higher.

If Hopson lives up to the hype this year, we can definitely see an E-8 run. With Fields, we now should be competing for SEC title with Kentucky and Florida.

Kind of funny that I am this excited about Vol Basketball....

ncvol17 writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hope he worships at the alter of Basketball @ the temple of Thompson Boling & teaches Fundamentals of round ball. The other stuff is his business alone..Just be a good all around guy and a dedicated athlete/student.

vol_4_fan writes:

in response to baldfan:

can he play defensive line or safety?

Leave football to the proper threads and be happy that the Vols are becoming a basketball program that we all can be proud of! Go Vols

Ironcity writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you look on the back of his basketball card it says he is a complete stoner. He loves doing beer bongs and tends to burp a lot. he is extremely bright considering he graduated while having so many bad habits. I hope that helps! Wait that was another players basketball card. Nevermind.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to vol_4_fan:

Leave football to the proper threads and be happy that the Vols are becoming a basketball program that we all can be proud of! Go Vols

I agree 1000000000000000000%

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're saying Kanter is as good as Cousins? Won't he be a freshman this year? With Williams and Fields we have two seniors at the post, and with Kenny Hall that gives us 14 fouls to give and still have the post manned. We're going to be real deep at the position.

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