INDIANAPOLIS - The IUPUI basketball program and head coach Ron Hunter announced the signings of Zach Fields (North Vernon, Ind./Jennings County) and Larry Stone (Indianapolis, Ind./Howe Academy) to National Letters of Intent to join the Jaguars next season. Both signed during last week’s Fall signing period and will have four years of eligibility, beginning in 2008.
“Today was a good day for the IUPUI basketball program,” Hunter said. “These two kids bring a lot of heart, talent and passion to our program. We look forward to them both having outstanding careers both in the classroom and on the basketball court at IUPUI.”
Fields, a rugged 6-foot-10, 270-pound center, averaged 16.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game last season at Jennings County High School. As a junior, he also ranked seventh in the state by shooting 64.5 percent from the floor in 21 games, while helping head coach George Grubbs’ Panthers to a 12-9 record. He earned All-Hoosier Hills Conference and All-Republic a year ago while leading the HHC in field goal percentage. He is widely considered one of the top pivots in the state, as he also excelled with the Indiana Sharks and Indiana Dawgs on the summer AAU circuit.
Fields chose IUPUI over a similar offer from Ball State and interest from Wright State, Evansville and IPFW.
“Zach is going to be really good for us,” Hunter said. “He can score and defend on the block. You can’t teach size like he has, but he’s got pretty good foot work and hands to go along with it.”
Stone, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound point guard is Howe’s all-time leading scorer through just three seasons of high school basketball. As a junior, he averaged 25.7 points, 7.8 assists and 6.2 steals per game and was chosen to the Junior All-Star Team.
Stone is ranked by most publications among Indiana’s Top 10 2008 prospects, while head coach Aaron Sembly’s Hornets are expected to challenge for the Class 3A state title this season. He drew national acclaim last season with a 45-point, 21-assist, seven steal night versus Richmond. Last year, Howe finished 13-9 overall and claimed the school’s first sectional title since 1986.
Stone also attracted interest from Ball State, Gardner-Webb, Xavier and Western Kentucky, among others.
“Larry’s going to follow in a long line of great guards at IUPUI,” Hunter said. “He’s incredibly gifted. Plus, he’s a really smart basketball player.
“We’re continuing to build this thing with in-state kids. That’s been our goal from day one and we continue to do that. Our fans are going to love to watch both of these kids play.”