Fields making impact in first season
Published: Monday, February 6, 2012
Updated: Monday, February 6, 2012 23:02
Coming into a large school with a storied program can be difficult to grasp for some freshman athletes.
For freshman forward Averee Fields, the transition from her high school basketball team in Murray, Ky., to West Virginia has been positive due to her work ethic and confidence in herself and her teammates.
The more she has learned under the direction of 11-year head coach Mike Carey, the easier her role has become once she steps onto the court on game days.
"The more playing time I get, the flow of the big game, Big East play is big-time," Fields said. "So, as I get out there I get more comfortable each minute."
The 6-foot forward, who averaged 23.5 points and 13.1 rebounds per game as a senior in high school, has had to come off of the bench this season under Carey, but she hasn't crumbled under the pressure.
Fields is only averaging 2.5 points on the season, but it's the little contributions she makes that don't always get
recorded on the score sheet that has impressed her coaches and teammates so much.
"(She's a) solid player, so that's why she's getting some minutes," Carey said. "She settles us down a little bit, especially if Yaya (Ayana Dunning) or somebody gets in trouble and we don't want to put Jess (Harlee) in at the four (position).
"We can put Averee (Fields) in there now, because she's pretty solid right there. She's not going to do anything to hurt you, but she'll do some things to help you," he said.
Fields said she has always been the type to look for the next pass to get her teammates involved. Her ability to pass into the low post to players like Dunning and Bussie has improved since she got to Morgantown because of the emphasis coach Carey has shown with that aspect of the game within the Mountaineers' offense.
"I've definitely looked to get people the ball, that's just kind of how I play," Fields said. "But, the emphasis in practice is to pass to the low post and be able to change hands and not give the ball away. So, I've definitely gotten better since I've been here at passing at the high post."
Fields has been showing progress each time she gets in the game.
Against South Florida last week, she had four points, one assist, two rebounds and no turnovers in just 17 minutes. In the upset against Louisville, in Fields' home state, she was effective again, grabbing four rebounds and an assist in 10 minutes of play.
She is excited to see where her current team can go as the season progresses, and is looking to continue improving in her role coming off of the bench and helping her team in anyway she can. She knows as the team continues to get better, she will, too.
"We're excited. I think we're finally starting to click and work together and just really connect. I feel like now were someone to be reckoned with," Fields said. "We're going to attack teams. You know, we're the underdogs, but that's how we like to be. That's how West Virginia always is. We're scrappy and we're just going to get after it, so we're excited."