Landry Fields: Just Another Day at the Office
by: Landry Fields - Stanford Senior/NBA Draft Prospect
May 11, 2010
Blog Entry #1: The Players You See. The Players I Play
Blog Entry #2: There Are No Direct Flights to Portsmouth

In high school and college, I worked hard at basketball. Now that college and academic requirements are pretty much done, that hard work has been taken to a whole new level.

Itís only natural, with school and other priorities just as important as basketball, finding time to work on your game and manage your daily obligations to school work can be an extremely difficult task.

As for myself, I only have one class left, called ďdirected reading.Ē For this class all that needs to be done is read one book for the quarter and then write a lengthy paper with a prompt the professor provides. Thatís what three years of summer school will get you, the ability to get ahead in school and have a light load your last quarter of college.

But enough about school, let me share with you what I promised last week, an inside look at my daily routine and the work that needs to be done to prepare for team workouts and eventually the draft.

My day starts at 6:40 AM I know what youíre thinking, thatís clichť for someone wanting to look like they are working harder than everyone else. Trust me, if I could start my day in later, I would. I have to start the day early because I cook a little breakfast to prepare myself for an 8 AM workout. I also have to get up that early because my workout is about a 25-minute drive, with traffic, to the city of Carson.

At 8 AM I have lifting and agility at a place known as the Home Depot Center (an MLS team, the LA Galaxy, play here). At the HDC, my agent hooked me up with an establishment known as Athletesí Performance. This place does everything from strength and conditioning, to physical therapy, to deep tissue massages, and even nutrition.

Iíve been with the group a little over a month and have enjoyed it all so far. They have nice facilities all over the HDC, with weight rooms, lounge areas, rehab rooms for physical therapy, and even full size NBA basketball courts where I do my on court basketball workouts.

After agility/movement work and lifting, the workout usually ends around 10 AM After that, I have a half-hour to chill and drink a protein shake before my on court workout at 10:30 AM.

My basketball trainer is Miles Simon, a former Arizona Wildcat, 1997 NCAA National Champion, Final Four Most Outstanding Player, and former NBA and overseas pro. Iíve known Miles for a couple years now and heís always been good about working me out whenever Iíve been home from Stanford.

The workouts are pretty tough, there are lots of guys who work with Miles only once and are never seen again. Along with me, Michael Roll, a shooting guard from UCLA, does my same daily routine, starting with Athletesí Performance, and then on court stuff. Iíve played Mike ever since high school and obviously all through college.

Mike, to me, is a much different player when he is able to get outside of his schoolís system. While at UCLA, a lot of his game was restricted and he was almost strictly a shooter. After working out with the guy for a few months now, let me tell you, he is not just a shooter. His excellent basketball IQ definitely broadens his basketball ability, he is a great passer, a solid defender, a big time competitor and a very underrated ball-handler.

Being able to work out with him everyday has definitely allowed my game to grow in many ways; we both hate to lose, so we turn everything during the workouts into a competition.

Milesí workout starts with a quick 5 to 10 minute warmup to get our bodies loose. After a light routine and stretch, we start with ball-handling. Every day this switches; some days it might strictly be stationary ball-handling with one and two balls, or we might do some full court ball-handling or even ball-handling consisting of different moves starting at each of the wings.

After that, we take that ball-handling and transition into moves with screens and finishes around the basket; long pro lay-ups with both hands, runners and floaters with both hands, Euro-steps with different footwork, reverse finishes, post moves, practically anything you can think of, we do. Once we get things done close to the basket, we will add work with the mid-range; transition pull-ups, numerous dribble moves into pull-ups, and even moves where we shoot right after an up-fake.

After that, you guessed it, we take it to the NBA three-point line. All the same pull-up stuff and shooting behind screens we already did in the mid-range. After every segment, we shoot free throws and then grab a quick drink.

After individual movement shooting, we start competition shooting with dribble moves or even stationary shooting; stuff like, ďfirst to ten makesĒ or ďhow many makes in a minuteĒ kinds of things.

After all the movement and skill work we play. Everything from 1 on 1, or when there are numerous people in the workout that day, 2 on 2 or 3 on 3. We can do all of this in the half court or full court. After countless games and continuous trash talking, there are winners and losers of the day. Itís all good to go out on top, but if you lose, it can sting all night.

Once the playing is done, we end with conditioning. Itís not straight running, but rather conditioning where you have a ball and have to make shots and usually transition stuff that takes up the whole court. That workout usually takes a little over two hours to complete. Once itís done, Mike and I go back to the Athletesí Performance lounge area where they provide lunch everyday for us. After an hour lunch break, we come back to the courts for shooting.

In the second session of basketball, itís usually all stationary type shooting where we get up about 300 makes before we call it a day. Once this session is done, we head back to AP again and do some rehab work; we ice bath, which is probably the worst thing you can do to your body with out being considered torture, then shower, and finally, head home. The workouts do change; itís not always the same drills everyday. Miles is good about changing it up so that all aspects of our game are touched upon.

The day start at 6:40 AM, and after three different kinds of workouts, it ends on average at 3 PM At first, the whole routine was extremely tiring, but since I have been on the regimen for a while now, my body is pretty used to it. I guess you can call it being in shape.

Itís all fun though; being able to work out with great basketball players and catch a few laughs here and there always equals a successful day. Right now, itís a job that doesnít pay, but hopefully soon, it will.

Next weekend I have my first NBA work out with the Oklahoma City Thunder. So naturally, my next blog will be insight into an NBA workout and what all the draft eligible players have to go through when they start flying from city to city. Should be fun! Catch yíall next week!

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Landry Fields: There Are No Direct Flights to Portsmouth
by: Landry Fields - Stanford Senior/NBA Draft Prospect
May 3, 2010
-Landry Fields Blog, Part One See what Landry Fields had to say last week about playing against John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe.

Getting to Portsmouth, Virginia, is no easy task. Living in Los Angeles, my journey started at LAX, went to Nashville, then to Baltimore, and finally to Norfolk, which is about a 10-minute drive from Portsmouth. Luckily the night before I left for Portsmouth, I didnít get much sleep, so right when I got to Virginia I went to bed, allowing instant adjustment to east coast time.

I already knew upon arriving at Portsmouth who was going to be on my team for the week. They included the likes of Landon Milbourne (Maryland), Ishmael Smith (Wake Forest), Zach Peacock (Georgia Tech), Gavin Edwards (Connecticut), Obi Muonelo (Oklahoma State), Reggie Holmes (Morgan State) and Jermaine Beal (Vanderbilt).

I thought my squad was pretty legit, but not knowing each other or ever playing with on another was a definite downfall to the team; we only won one game. I became most close with Gavin and Obi over the week. Gavin and I share the same agent in Chris Emens of Octagon. With that commonality amongst us, you could say we naturally came together. As for Obi, he was just a well-liked guy by everyone; he never had anything negative to say, and was always positive toward all of his teammates, much respect to him.

I really didnít know what to expect out of Portsmouth. We played at a fairly large high school gym that seemed to fill up for each game. The thing that struck me as the funniest over the weekend were the ball boys; these kids had no shame. They would literally ask for autographs while players were warming up. After each game they wanted your shoes, shirts, shorts, anything they could get their hands on.

I remember joking with Gavin on the squad saying the kids would run up and down the court during game play just to get an autograph if they were allowed to. But I had no problem with any of it. No matter what Sir Charles says, these kids definitely look up to us and see us as their role models. When I was younger I wanted to be just like James Cotton who played at Long Beach State; so I understand what it means to these kids when they receive a simple autograph.

The great John Wooden once said, ďfailure to prepare, is preparing to fail.Ē So, I decided to come into the invitational with a game plan. Growing up and being in all kinds of ďall-starĒ type games, I know a couple things; first, everyone wants to score and second, no one plays any thing close to the resemblance of defense.

Therefore, banking on the fact that scouts and general managers are pretty smart guys when it comes to this whole basketball thing, they want to see characteristics of players other than scoring. Think about it, if you are invited to an event such as this, you had to have been a decent scorer on your respected squad, so everyone knows you could score already.

With all of that in mind, my plan was to play every play as hard as I could, do little things to help the team win such as rebounding, playing good DEFENSE, talking on the court, sprinting the floor, find open guys for the best shots, and if I had a decent look, shoot/score the ball.

Overall, I felt I did all of what I wanted to accomplish pretty well. I averaged 13.3 points, 6 boards, and 3 assists. While those numbers donít strike out as remarkable, after doing all the stuff that doesnít show up in a box score along with that stat line, many felt I had a very good tournament. I definitely felt it was a success, and definitely didnít hurt me in anyway in terms of my stock.

While I can speak all day about each and every guy at the camp, Iíll just share with you who I was most impressed with. The invitationalís most valuable player was Jerome Randle, and he deserved it. While he wasnít my favorite player to watch at the event, mostly because I had seen him for so many years and played against him because he went to Cal, he showed a side of himself that not many got to witness when he was at Berkeley.

Randle has always been a great passer, but in college he was a score first type point guard. His handle is beyond ridiculous and I promise you he can shoot a few feet inside the half court line with ease and knock it down fairly consistently. However, at the camp he became a pass first point guard. He reminded me of when Sebastian Telfair was in the McDonaldís All-American game and was going for the assist record. I had never seen Randle play this way before.

He came in with the same mind set as I did; scouts already knew he could score the ball--that was no secret--he wanted to show his ability to do other things, specifically create for others. Randle has always been capable of this, but at the camp he showed it consistently and made it look easy. Every once in a while he would reveal his sweet stroke and rock-solid handle, but he was practically involved in all of his teamís plays and was dropping some serious dimes.

My favorite player to watch, though, was Mikhail Torrance from Alabama. Itís crazy, I couldnít figure out which hand was his dominate hand, and still donít know to be honest. It seemed like he made every pass with his left hand, but shot it with his right. He spent most of the time on the left hand side of floor and was able to finish with either hand. For some reason I have a fascination with guys who are ambidextrous.

Not to mention, for how big Torrance was, he has legit handle; no one was taking his ball away. There were a couple plays where he would get in the lane and explode up, but in mid-air would shift the ball around away from defenderís hands and score easily. He reminded me of Russell Westbrook a little bit. His ability to score and break down his defenders was most exciting for me to watch.

As I said before, in my eyes, I had a good tournament. It was a great opportunity to go up against the best seniors in the land and showcase my talents in front of NBA scouts.

For my next blog, Iíll give you an inside look to my everyday training that I go through in order to get my game as best as it can be before workouts start for different NBA teams. Iíll catch yaíll next week.

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Landry Fields: The Players You See. The Players I Play
by: Landry Fields - Stanford Senior/NBA Draft Prospect
April 25, 2010
Whatís up, Draft Nation, allow me to informally introduce myself to you. My name is Landry Fields, and if you donít know me, which many of you may not, I am a senior at Stanford University.

Individually, I had a very good last year at Stanford; however, the goals and aspirations I had in terms of the team fell way short of expectation. But Iím not here to bore you with a long introduction of myself, but rather give you a little insight into my world as a potential player who could possibly hear his name called in this upcoming NBA draft.

Outside of what most ďexpertsĒ think they know about players, almost none of them have had the chance to actually play against the players they love to write about; I have. Does that make me an expert? Absolutely not, but I certainly can give you little intricate opinions on players solely based on the fact that I have played against them at one point or another.

For this particular blog, I wanted to share my experience of playing in the pre-season tournament known as, ďThe Cancun Challenge.Ē At the tournament I played two games; the first game was against Virginia and the second was against powerhouse, Kentucky. This was a, how can I put it, extremely unique tournament. Everything from the teams I played against, to the court I was playing them on, there was something to be said.

Day one came, and after hours of traveling, we only had a few hours to grab a bite to eat and get situated in our rooms. We stayed at, what I certainly would call, a luxury resort.

To me, everything was cool about the place until I saw what kind of courts we had to play on, and where the courts were located. The practice gym was in an enormous ballroom just a short walk from where our rooms were and the game gym was upstairs from the hotel lobby in another ballroom with the kind of bleachers you can find at a minor league baseball field at your local park.

Luckily, no game there came down to a last second full court shot because I am pretty sure Cancunís idea of a jumbo-tron, or what most people would call a chandelier, would certainly allow for an extra defender on the court.

Teams trickled in throughout the day, but we had no time to sit there and size up any future opponents. One, we had to get ready to play Virginia, and two, our presence off the court didnít have the same bulk as we tended to think it did.

Anyway, Virginia was a talented team with a new head coach in Tony Bennett who recently came from Washington State. In this game, I played against a player who at one point or another was or is on a few draft boards, Sylven Landesberg.

Landesberg was a pretty talented player and had a decent game, however didnít really have the kind of game most would expect out of him against us. He had pretty good size for a two guard and I could see he had a decent feel for the game.

This was a game we had to win because the winner would take on Kentucky the following day and Stanford needed to get some national attention and turn some heads early if we were ever going to have a shot at the tournament. The game remained close throughout and Virginia had some pretty good talent outside of Landesberg.

Mustapha Farrakhan was probably one of my favorite players to against that whole tournament. I thought he gave great energy and solid minutes for his team. Not to mention, Jeff Jones was strokiní it that game. However, even through the great play out of their squad, we managed to pull it out. We beat Virginia and would go on to face Kentucky and their crowd.

Youíre probably asking yourself, their crowd? Let me tell you, after the amount of blue that piled into Cancun that weekend, one might think they were watching a rerun of the Smurfs. I had never seen such loyal fans to one school. Iím pretty sure the state of Kentucky shut down for those few days, just so everyone could come watch the team play in Cancun and not walk into work Monday morning with a pink slip on their desk.

Kentucky had an army. Stanford had a family meeting. The only red in the crowd that game came from coachesí wives, children or playerís parents. From the start, most everyone in the nation believed there was just no way we could match up; not to mention, Kentucky, I believe, was the only unbeaten squad left in the country, and rightfully so.

The Wildcats had five, count Ďem FIVE, future NBA talents in Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson, Daniel Orton, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall. Now being the Draft Nation that you are, and a well respected one at that, some might figure or have opinions that maybe one of those five arenít NBA ready or whatever.

After playing them and watching them (they were on ESPN every other day), I honestly feel like they all will make it. Just because I think they all will make it, doesnít mean they all balled out against Stanford in Cancun. No sir. Credit to them for a great win, but if we had just taken care of the ball a little bit more and knocked down some throws, their loss would have come much earlier than their meeting at South Carolina. But past is past.

My dealings with those guys is somewhat altered from one man to the next. Bledsoe is a tremendous athlete who had an OK game against us. It wasnít bad, but it wasnít outstanding. However, he does have an extreme amount of talent. I love his intensity for the game though. While sometimes he can let his emotions get the best of him, his passion goes unmatched and it showed against us. A few plays he just wanted it more than us.

Patrick Patterson had a good game. We were a bit short this year in terms of our big men because we lost a key element in Josh Owens, but we had some walk-on big men that had a good year for us, and I think played Patterson pretty well. But at moments during the game you could just see the physicality and athleticism he possessed and no one was able to really match it.

Daniel Orton, if you havenít played against him, is solid. Many people, and by people I mean crowds who think they know basketball, but truly donít, only look at his numbers this year and try to judge based off of that. Well after playing him, good for him for leaving. While I think next year he would kill for Callipari, he was solid against us.

I remember a play in particular where I got past my defender on the wing and saw Daniel Orton at the basket. Ok, itís a televised game, lots of people are watching, if I go hard enough Iíll at least get fouled. Nope. I took one last dribble after getting by my defender and decided I wanted to dunk on Orton, but he gladly rejected my request. He had a presence all game in the paint, which made me have to alter a few shots when I got into the lane. Heís big and a great secondary helper for them. I actually like him a lot. Any team would have loved to have him this year, I know we would have.

DeMarcus Cousins, if Iím being honest, I didnít think he would have been where he was at now after we played against him. Although just a freshman, I thought our bigs, most of whom are walk-ons, played him very well. Now donít get me wrong, that man has blossomed after his game against us. He definitely showed great potential when we played him, but I didnít think heíd get to where heís at now, well at least not this year.

Finally, John Wall. There are many words to describe Wall, but the word I have chosen is, winner. No one had more hype in the nation than this guy so when we heard we would have a chance to play him we gladly accepted the challenge. His game against us ended just OK but I donít think that reflected his entire game. His last five minutes going into overtime were outstanding. Thatís why I call him a winner. Even in a game where he wasnít playing all his best, he still found a way to will his team to victory. Not to mention heís a pretty decent defender. I remember 4 or 5 different guys having to guard me that game and he was one of them. Anyway, he was the one to knock down the clutch free throws for them to send it into overtime. Then he proceeded to have a great last five minutes. Game over.

For some reason, people always talk about how ďwe almost had Kentucky.Ē To the people who know basketball, ďalmostĒ doesnít cut it. We lost. They won. You canít take any credit away from those guys. The best teams find ways to win even when their star-studded cast isnít performing on all cylinders. We had our chances to win that game, but didnít. No reason to hang our hat on almost beating someone; thatís a loserís mentality, not a characteristic of a championship caliber team. But from that game we learned a great deal about who were as a team and the capabilities we could possess.

Next time, Iíll take a step away from the whole college routine and leap into the early world of things you have to go through when you are a guy in my position and want to play in the NBA. Iíll speak about a time in basketball where the term, ďplaying together as a team,Ē doesnít hold much value even though if players did it, theyíd be looked at in a much higher light; you guessed it, next time Iíll give you my insight into the time I had at the all-NCAA senior draft camp in Portsmouth, Virginia.

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