MAAC Transfer Scouting, Part 1: Fairfield
There are 29 incoming transfers between the eleven MAAC teams as of right now, with more on the horizon. There are a lot of new faces in the MAAC, and that’s hard for fans. However, with the help of some analytics, film breakdowns, and clippings, we’re here to help you get to know every single entering transfer for the league, team-by-team.
Fairfield is one of five MAAC teams with a full 13 scholarship players as of right now, including two Divison I transfers in Caleb Fields from Bowling Green and Brycen Goodine from Providence. Let's get to know them and why the Stags targeted them.
Assistant Coach James Johns told me exactly why the Stags targeted the players that they did. Before even thinking about the actual player on the court, Johns said that Head Coach Jay Young wants “high character guys that embrace being coached hard and love being in the gym.” He expanded on that, saying “Fairfield is beautiful but [Coach Young] wants our program to be a blue collar program that is built on hard work.” Young, who played College Lacrosse at Marist, is looking to grow the program by breaking from the stereotype that comes with his past. Johns said that while he believes in the talent and the scheme fit of the transfers, Fields and Goodine, the character was “the key” that separated them from other transfers.
Hailing from Cape May Court House, New Jersey, 6 foot 2 point guard Caleb Fields comes to Fairfield with 2 years of eligibility left. Fields missed the entire season for Bowling Green last year due to an injury, but he was an impact player for the Falcons for three seasons.
In his freshman season, 2018–19, Fields started 25 games and averaged 4.2 PPG including a 24-point outburst in a win against UT Martin. By his junior season, Fields was averaging 28.3 MPG, 6.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 2.2 APG. Fields was never a deadeye three-point shooter, shooting just 31.3% over his career, however, he does play well above his size.
He’s listed at six-foot-two, but he averaged nearly four rebounds, and in 2021, and he is a strong finisher at the rim for a guard. Per Shot Quality, Fields was in the 67th percentile in Point Per Possession at the rim in his 2020–21 season.
Coach Johns said that Fields’ “size and ability to guard” were major attractive traits of his game. Fields also “has some explosiveness to him” which fits what the Stags were looking for out of their guards.
As soon as you turn on his tape, it’s apparent that he looks bigger than listed.
Here’s Fields using his explosiveness and vision to drive to the basket and find his big man when the help defense comes. App State is prepared for this though, as they have another player in the lane helping, and they’re able to make it into a tough shot.
Here’s a look at Fields’ three-point stroke, which is by no means his bread and butter, but he’s certainly capable of hitting the triple.
While this is probably an ill-advised shot, the hustle to get his own rebound and then put the ball back on the floor and make a nice pass to the opposite block shows his unwillingness to give up on a play
As I mentioned earlier, Fields plays above his size. Here he is with a good defensive possession guarding a taller player in the post up to force a tough shot.
Defensively, Fields is a space invader. He has length to affect perimeter shots and he also has a knack for playing aggressive.
Here is that aggressiveness on display, as well as his instincts, speed, and finishing.
Here’s two more examples of his finishing ability, and they also serve to display his ability to drive to the basket.
And finally, Fields shows the necessary confidence to take, and make, this shot, which was the dagger in a road win.
Ranked as a four-star recruit for the class of 2019, Goodine committed to Syracuse, where he played his first season. After starring in 23 games as a freshman, Goodine transferred to Providence, where he spent his last two seasons. He had a similar role at Providence as he did at Syracuse, so he’s transferring again, coming to Fairfield with 2 years of eligibility left.
One search of him on YouTube, and you can see exactly how he fits the mold of high character players that Coach Johns mentioned. One of the first videos that shows up is a 2 minute video titled “Brycen Goodine Hustle Plays vs DePaul” from the 2021 Big East Tournament.
Coach Johns said that Goodine is “a very good athlete that will help us on both ends of the floor.” He also praised his offensive ability, saying that he’s “extremely talented” on that end.
Analytically, there isn’t very much to go off of, as he’s played so little in his three years, but he’s averaged 2.3 steals per 40 minutes in his career. At just six-foot-four, Goodine is a strong rebounder for his size. His high energy defense was a jolt to the Friars whenever they gave him time.
In this clip, Goodine makes a nice effort contesting this floater, as well as pulling down the rebound. His defensive skills are obvious.
Not only is Goodine a very good defensive player, but he possesses great three point shooting traits. While he doesn’t boast elite shotmaking stats in college, the sample is small, and he’s shown plenty of promise. Goodine won Syracuse’s 3 Point Contest in his freshman season,
His stroke is pure off the catch, and in this game against Northwestern, he sunk four of his five threes.
Goodine’s knack for the rebound is going to be a big help to the Stags, who ranked 9th in the MAAC in both offensive and defensive rebounding.
Going back to Goodine’s high school days, he showed the complete offensive package as a guard with multi-level scoring, playmaking, and above the rim athleticism.
Here’s a look at that athleticism and self-creation.
Goodine projects to be a strong two-way player in the MAAC, and the Stags need that, as they lost both Jesus Cruz and Taj Benning.
The Stags should be a contender for the top five in the league thanks in no small part to two athletic, two-way guard transfers.
Next up in the MAAC Transfer Scouting will be Iona.