|Jason Kenny scored 37 points in Misericordia's opener against Susquehanna.
Photo by Misericordia athletics
Tre Fields started eating Mike and Ikes before his basketball games as a high school freshman. So in the visiting locker room before Misericordia’s season opener at Susquehanna on Nov. 15, he ate some more.
“I have my set things that I do before any game, and I stick to them,” Fields said in a telephone interview on Monday. “I didn’t want to change anything.”
He had already changed plenty. A junior guard, Fields transferred to Misericordia this season from Anderson University, a Division II school in South Carolina.
Fields committed two early fouls against Susquehanna and played only eight minutes of the first half, scoring four points. But that inauspicious start made him well-rested for the second half and two overtime periods. Fields finished with 26 points and six assists, and Misericordia beat No. 25 Susquehanna 120-116 in double-overtime.
Fields is averaging 18.4 points per game for Misericordia (4-1), which was picked in the MAC Freedom coaches’ preseason poll to finish second in the conference. The Cougars won their first four games before falling to Swarthmore, 83-75, on Nov. 27.
Fields can score on the drive, in the post, and from the three-point line. And he can do it without drawing too much attention from defenders, because he is a scorer on a team filled with them.
“He’s the guy they’re leaving open right now,” head coach Willie Chandler said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
Freshman guard Tony Harding averages 14.6 points per game and has the team’s best three-point shooting percentage (.455). Senior guard Griffin Sponaugle is scoring 11 points per game. Then there’s sophomore point guard Jason Kenny, the MAC Freedom’s leading scorer (25.4 points per game) and an all-conference first team selection last season.
Kenny and Fields help each other. Because Kenny often gets double teamed, Chandler said, Fields finds open shots. And because Fields is making shots, Kenny has more options while running the point.
“Tre was the guy we missed last year,” Chandler said. “We missed another wing guy last year that could attack the rim and shoot the ball.”
In the season opener, Fields wanted to show Susquehanna that Misericordia’s returning shooters, Sponaugle and Kenny, were not the only offensive threats.
“I just wanted to prove that you’re going to have to guard me too,” Fields said. “That was the mindset.”
But that mindset contributed to Fields’ slow start in that game.
“He wants to be perfect,” Chandler said. “I have no problem with it; I like kids that want to be perfect. He’s just got to put a little less pressure on himself and enjoy the game a little bit more.”
Fields also needs to improve in rebounding, Chandler said, and body language.
“When things aren’t going well, he might pout a little bit and not show the emotion he shows when things are going well for him,” Chandler said. “I tell him the great players have got to show the same emotion all the time.”
What should scare opponents is that Fields has made Misericordia a stronger team, and he has not yet reached his ceiling. Fields is still getting used to playing with his new teammates, he said.
“I’m still not comfortable,” Fields said. “I’m still not comfortable yet. I’m getting there.”
Atlantic region notes
In women’s basketball, No. 14 Montclair State improved to 5-0 with a 68-48 win over Stevens on Nov. 28. Rachael Krauss made six of 10 three-pointers and scored a game-high 24 points for the Red Hawks. Krauss had gone 3-for-20 from three-point range in Montclair State’s first four games. … In men’s basketball, Cabrini forward Tyheim Monroe leads the nation with 16.8 rebounds per game. He is also Cabrini’s leading scorer with 20.3 points per game. The Cavaliers begin CSAC play against Rosemont on Wednesday.