Mustang News: Why did you choose to come to Cal Poly?
Donovan Fields: I got a phone call from [head coach Joe Callero] in July of my freshman year at junior college. I had never been to California before so I came on a visit, and the place is just beautiful. It was something I had never experienced, never seen before. I ultimately decided, basically because of the weather. The weather out here is perfect. Good basketball and good education led me to choose Cal Poly.
MN: What was it like growing up in New York and then moving to California?
DF: It’s a lot different. It is way different. Just the pace and the speed of life of everybody. I am from Newburgh, about an hour north of New York City. Being on campus, I see a lot of people, but it’s nothing compared to New York. The main difference is the weather — it is a lot colder and when it does get hot, it is humid.
MN: You guys are a relatively young team. How has the team chemistry developed?
DF: It is getting a lot better. It is not perfect yet, but we are still in the early stages of our team. We go to the beach and go hang out at the basketball courts. We are pretty much building it day by day. Playing with each other and helping each other out definitely helps us build chemistry.
MN: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
DF: The best advice I ever got was to stay confident in myself. Sometimes you might go into a shooting slump or you might doubt yourself. That is the hardest thing to control, that voice in your head because that is the voice that talks to you the most throughout your day. Quieting that voice is one of the biggest things my dad and coaches have told me to do in the past.
MN: What advice have you given to the younger players?
DF: Always play hard. If you make a mistake, it is always about what you do after that mistake. Nobody is perfect. You’re going to turn the ball over or miss a shot here and there. It is always about what you do after you make that mistake.
MN: What advantages and disadvantages do you experience being an undersized player?
DF: I don’t like saying disadvantages, but definitely getting to rebounds and blocking shots. Being my size, I am a lot quicker and lower to the ground. It’s harder for those taller guys to get to my level. I kind of like to bring them down to my size.
MN: How does your size affect how you make plays, like going in for a shot?
DF: I’m always thinking like, how am I going to get this guy to think I’m going this way, and then go the opposite way? I try to be unpredictable every time I go to the basket.
MN: How have you grown from your freshman year to your senior year?
DF: I am a really quiet guy, so I used to get yelled at by my coaches when I was a freshman for not talking enough or telling my teammates where to go, since I’m the point guard. I definitely feel I have grown as an individual and a player, by just speaking up more now.
MN: You scored a career-high of 30 points against Menlo College. How did you feel after the game realizing this accomplishment?
DF: It did not hit me until today. A bunch of people texted me and hit me up and everything. But at the end of the day I know it’s just one game. I have to get it out of my mind, just forget about it, and work hard with my teammates in practice.
MN: What is the team’s goals for the season?
DF: Definitely to win the Big West Conference championship. Definitely get to the NCAA tournament like the the team did in 2014.
MN: How do you get yourself mentally prepared for a game or practice?
DF: I try to treat every game like a regular game. We all know it is a different level, but I try to just calm myself down and have confidence in myself. I have my teammates that have my back, and they believe in me too. I just know that every single game is just a basketball game at the end of the day.
MN: Do you have any message to the San Luis Obispo community?
DF: Keep doing what you guys are doing. We love the fans. Keep coming out to all the games and keep supporting us throughout the season.