Arizona women’s basketball head coach Adia Barnes did not waste any time. The Wildcats’ season ended on Monday, and she was already visiting possible transfers by the weekend. First in her sights is Oklahoma State junior guard Lauren Fields, and Barnes has a crucial advantage over other coaches.
According to a tweet by her father, Barnes and assistant coach Ashley Davis visited the Fields family in Oklahoma. Davis was on the staff of former OSU head coach Jim Littell for six years before coming to Arizona prior to last season. Littell and the Cowgirls parted ways on March 7.
Fields led the team with 15.4 points per game last season. That placed her sixth in the Big XII for points per game. Her 1.9 3-point field goals made also ranked sixth in the Big XII.
Fields would bring more than just scoring to Arizona. Although she’s just 5-foot-9, she was third on her team with 4.1 rebounds per game. As a sophomore, she had 3.3 assists per game and a 1.76 assist-to-turnover ratio, but both of those numbers dropped during her junior season.
Fields’ drive on the defensive end of the floor in something that will be crucial if she decides to come to Arizona. Her 2.5 steals per game put her in the 99th percentile in Division I women’s basketball.
Fields ended the season with 67 total steals. That would have put her in first on the 2021-22 Arizona roster by a wide margin. The Wildcats were led by Helena Pueyo, who had 50 total steals this season.
Her Oklahoma State team used defense in the same way that Arizona did: to spark their offense. The Cowgirls allowed 60.9 PPG this season. That wasn’t on the same level as the Wildcats’ 57.4 points allowed, but it was good enough to rank fourth in the Big XII
“Defense is a big thing for this team,” Fields told The Oklahoman. “We struggle sometimes offensively, so defense is the way to get us transition buckets because we succeed in transition. Our main emphasis is on our defense.”
Fields gets her work done in the classroom, as well. She was first-team Academic All-Big-XII as a sophomore and again as a junior.
Fields has aspects of her game that she needs to work on. After limiting her turnovers as a sophomore, she led her team with 67 as a junior. Her 3.3 assists per game in 2020-21 fell to just 1.9 in 2021-22 and her assist-to-turnover margin plummeted. After a solid 1.76 as a sophomore, it fell to 0.76 as a junior.
Fields announced that she would be leaving Stillwater on March 22. Because of the extra year of eligibility granted to student-athletes in 2021, she has two more years to play.