BIG EAST TOP 2008-2009 POINT GUARDS: #3 LEVANCE FIELDS
November 5, 2008
The Big East has traditionally had New York City born and bred point guards that exude flair, toughness and clutch performances. Pittsburgh senior point guard Levance Fields brings that NYC package to the Steel City and leads the Panthers into the Big East for the 2008-2009 season.
Last year, Pittsburgh was 11-0 and flying high after a three-point shot by Fields in overtime gave the Panthers a thrilling overtime win against Duke in Madison Square Garden. However, Pitt's season would take a dramatic turn in their next outing. Already having lost Mike Cook for the season with a torn ACL suffered in the overtime period against Duke, late in the 1st half against Dayton, their next opponent, Fields stepped on the foot of a cheerleader on the baseline and broke his foot. The Pitt floor general would miss the next 12 games of the season.
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When Fields returned to the line-up for a Big East match-up with Marquette, his rust showed and the Panthers immediately dropped three straight games as they worked their leader back into the mix. Knowing the importance of having Fields healthy and intune with the club, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon stuck with his point guard despite the Panthers falling to 7-7 in the Big East and moving closer to the NCAA Tournament bubble. With fields rounding back into shape, Pitt erased all NCAA Tournament doubts by winning three of their last four games in the conference and then making the mad dash through Cincinnati and ranked Louisville, Marquette and Georgetown to claim their second-ever Big East Conference Tournament championship.
While Fields struggled a little bit with his offense in the Big East Tournament, his floor game was nearly flawless, showing his importance to his club. Anytime a point guard plays so effeciently, the NCAA basketball odds of winning skyrocket. Fields made the right decision time and time again, feeding Sam Young constantly for buckets and spotting Ronald Ramon on the perimeter for a dagger three here and there. In the four games, Fields ammassed 22 assists to just FOUR turnovers, an unbelievable ratio of 5.5:1! That is what any coach would want from his point guard. Despite the season that was up and down and marred by injury, Fields had an assist to turnover ration of better than 3:1 on the season.
As the consumate point guard, Fields probably deserves a higher ranking as you know you will have the game managed well each and every night. When he is needed to score, he has a knack of doing so, when a big shot is needed, he has shown the ability to step up and knock it down. However, the injured foot of last season has kept Fields out of practice for the majority of the fall. He is just now starting to workout fully with his team, just a week and a half before the season opens. It looks like it will be a situation to be mindful throughout the whole season and expect Pitt to proceed with caution. He will be needed in March for the Panthers to make their move. He is the most trusted leader on our list, making Levance Fields the #3 point guard in the Big East per the NBE Basketball Report.
Labels: 2008-2009 preview