Here's the latest in a series looking at incoming player to MAAC programs.
Up now ...
- Maurice Barrow, 6-5 forward, Christ The King H.S., NYC
Barrow averaged 12.4 points and 6.5 points per game last season.
- Jamel Fields, 6-1 guard, Cheshire (Conn.) Academy prep school
No statistics available for last season, but Fields averaged 20.8 points per game in the 2008-09 season playing at Albany (N.Y.) Academy.
Your blogger has seen Fields play a number of times. He is an athletic guard who is capable of playing either backcourt spot, but seems more of a shooter than a distributor.
- Keith Matthews, 6-5 forward, Sebastian (Fla.) H.S.
He averaged 19.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game last season.
Desmond Wade, 5-8 point guard, transfer from Houston
Wade left Houston after coach Tom Penders resigned. He averaged 5.7 points and 4.8 assists last season. He is a legit point guard who takes care of the ball (167 assists vs. 62 turnovers last season). He started 31 of Houston's 35 games last season. He is required to sit out this season, although he can practice with Fairfield, and will have two remaining seasons of eligibility beginning in the 2011-12 season.
- Rakim Sanders, 6-5 senior guard/forward, transfer from Boston College
Sanders left BC afteer its coach, Al Skinner, was fired after this past season. He averaged 11.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game at the Atlantic Coast Conference school this past season. Sanders is required to sit out this season, although he can practice with the Stags. He has only one season of eligibility remaining, the 2011-12 season.
ANALYSIS: The Stags add some nice pieces, particularly the transfers who should play significant roles when they become eligible a year from now. However, the incoming group did not address the program's greatest need ... height. Fairfield has only two players taller than 6-5 on its roster for the coming season, 7-0 junior Ryan Olander, a reserve previously; and, 6-7 senior Greg Nero, who missed all of last season with injuries and doesn't appear likely, according to a variety of reports, to be at full strength for the upcoming season. The team originally announced the signing of 6-8 forward Majok Majok to a national letter of intent, and Majok would have been a nice addition. But, there have been reports that Majok had significant "paperwork issues" that cannot be resolved and will not attend Fairfield. He does not appear on the school's roster in its preseason prognosis, and, right now, neither Fairfield's sports information nor coach Ed Cooley is responding to media requests to discuss Majok.
- Christelle Akon-Akech, 5-10 forward/guard, Blair Academy prep school.
"Christelle is an athletic wing player who will add versatility to our team," said Fairfield coach Joe Frager. "She has excellent vertical leaping ability and played multiple positions in the past."
Akon-Akech played three seasons at Blair, and is a native of Lyon, France. She is the niece of former Fairfield men's player Ajou Deng.
- Brittany Obi-Talbert, 6-1 forward, Watertown, (Mass.) H.S.
She averaged 20.6 points amd 14/1 rebounds per game this past season.
"She was a 1,000 (1,325 point)-1,000 (1,252 rebound) kid in high school; she's very athletic," said Frager. "She'll add some athleticism to our front court."
- Alexys Vazquez, 5-10 guard, Berlin (Conn.) H.S.
No senior season statistics available.
"She is an outstanding 3-point shooter with range ... (Diana) Taurasi range. Crazy range," said Frager.
- Katie Cizynski, 6-2 orward/center, 6-2, Pomperaug High, Southbury, Conn.
No senior season statistic available.
"She had a big, big high school career. She ended up as the leading scorer in the history of Pomperaug High," said Frager.
ANALYSIS: An talented, versatile incoming class that lacks only a point guard. Cizynski, Obi-Talbert and Akon-Akech should all get into the playing group and help a front court that suffered heavy graduation losses. If Vazquez is as good a shooter as advertised, she'll get playing time, too, and help remedy a Fairfield deficiency from the outside of last season.