Within the last 48 hours, Landry Fields enjoyed tremendous news from two basketball powers. The Los Alamitos (Calif.) High School senior guard had been pursued heavily by both Stanford and Arizona, and both recruitments reached a head this weekend. Friday night brought Wildcats head coach Lute Olson to Orange County to watch Fields in a game where he scored 20 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished four assists. Arizona followed with a scholarship offer for the 6'5" wing.
Also on Friday night, Fields learned after his game that he had been accepted by the Admissions Office at Stanford. That good news came after more than a half of year of work by the Los Alamitos student-athlete toward admission to The Farm. His acceptance also made his offer from the Cardinal an official one, though there has been no mistaking the highest level of interest from Stanford in Fields since last June.
Having already taken official visits to the two schools - Stanford in October and Arizona in January - Fields had the information upon which he could make a decision. We expected word sooner rather than later. After a day of contemplation to digest his options, Fields has made his choice.
"I just committed to Stanford 10 minutes ago," he revealed early this afternoon to The Bootleg.
Young for his grade and just 17 years old, Fields is not physically mature and has a great upside ahead of him. He is growing already, and the 6'5" wing is blossoming in all aspects of his game beyond his early recognized shooting acumen. Athletic and skilled, Fields also has a great feel for the game and plays with a silky smoothness.
At the end of his junior year, Fields was ranked by Scout.com as the #3 shooting guard in the West. Basketball recruiting analyst Greg Hicks had this to say about the Los Alamitos athlete then:
"Fields has a sweet stroke, with a quick release, and he's not yet physically mature. He might end up the best of the group once he gets bigger and stronger."
Projecting as a wing guard/forward for the Cardinal, Fields adds a presence with perimeter skills and quickness to a recruiting class that signed triple towers in the fall. 7'0" center/forward Brook Lopez, 7'0" center Robin Lopez and 6'9.5" forward Will Paul all committed to the Cardinal in 2005 during before their senior years and signed during the early period in November. Fields is the first of what Stanford hopes to be two spring signees in April, with the other spot earmarked for a point guard.
The recruiting pool available to Stanford is famously small, given their admissions restrictions, which makes it a rare event for them to sign somebody in the spring. Statistically speaking, there are few high-major recruits available after the fall signing period, and the chances of any of those having Stanford-admissible academics are miniscule. In the last decade, you can find only two student-athletes who have signed a National Letter of Intent for the Cardinal in the spring: Justin Davis in 1999 and Tony Giovacchini in 1998.
We will have more to follow on this breaking news for Fields and the Cardinal.
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