Aug. 2, 2010
This is the fourth installment of a five-part series highlighting the 2010-11 Tennessee basketball newcomers. In this edition of "Hello My Name Is," UTsports.com chats it up with senior transfer John Fields, a forward from Fayetteville, N.C.
Q: Just before transferring to Tennessee, you graduated in June from UNC Wilmington. Do you feel any different now that you're officially a college graduate?
A: "You feel a little different around your teammates--kind of like you're the `old man' on campus since you've got your degree. It's an accomplishment, but there's still more work to be done."
Q: You've cited UT's Sports management program as a factor in choosing to play your final season of eligibility on Rocky Top. Were there any other reasons that factored into your decision to come to Knoxville?
A: "Sustained postseason success. That's something Tennessee has had going for it recently. I want to try to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. That's one thing I haven't done in my career yet."
Q: What's something Tennessee fans don't know about you that they might find interesting?
A: "I'm a big Kenny Chesney fan. I love Kenny Chesney. I even went to one of his concerts. I have a lot of his stuff on my iPod. I listen to him in the morning--great morning songs before I go to class."
Q: What's your favorite meal?
A: "Spaghetti... my mom's baked spaghetti."
Q: Do you remember your first dunk?
A: (Smiles) "My first slam dunk was in a middle school game in the eighth grade. It was against Hope Mills, and we were ahead by about 20 points. Some of my teammates told me to stay back near midcourt and then leak out to see if I could dunk one."
Q: In your opinion, what is your biggest strength on the basketball court? And what area of your game do you most want to improve upon?
A: "My biggest strength is my defensive presence. My outside perimeter skills are something I can still work on."
Q: You set a UNC Wilmington school record with 21 rebounds against Towson last season. What can you tell us about that game?
A: "I just felt like I was on a mission that night. Everything that hit that rim, I felt like I had to grab it for us to be in the game. Unfortunately we ended up losing that one."
Q: What's the one electronic device you couldn't live without?
A: "I couldn't live without my cell phone."
Q: Kevin Durant or Kevin Garnett?
A: "I'd have to take Kevin Durant right now. He's just so good right now, and I like the sacrifices he makes to make his teammates better. He goes to the summer leagues and works out with the new guys. I think he's a winner."
Q: Did you play any sports other than basketball while you were growing up?
A: "I was into football for a while, playing receiver and a little quarterback. I also loved playing baseball. I played first base."
Q: Who is your favorite pro athlete in a sport other than basketball and why?
A: "Right now it has to be Stephen Strasburg. He's just a freak athlete. To be so young and do what he's doing right now is amazing."
Q: What's the one non-sports TV show you can't miss?
A: "Cake Boss on TLC. I love the cook on that show."
Q: What kind of toys did you play with when you were little? Were you a Hot Wheels guy or an action-figure guy?
A: "I was an action-figure guy. I was a big Power Rangers guy, and I liked G.I. Joes, too."
Q: What three words would you use to describe head coach Bruce Pearl?
A: "Energetic. Basketball fanatic. Passionate."
Q: When you think about your college debut at Thompson-Boling Arena in November, what do you envision as your first big play?
A: "My first big impact play... somebody's going to throw me a nice assist, and I'm going to dunk it. Afterwards I can just hear the crowd."