Courtney Fortson

RCSI: 60 (2008)
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
Weight: 175 lbs (79 kg)
Position: PG
High School: The Patterson School (North Carolina)
Hometown: Montgomery, AL
College: Arkansas
Current Team: Denain
Win - Loss: 13 - 20


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Joey Whelan
Joey Whelan
Sep 23, 2009, 06:51 am
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It would be difficult to find a player with more energy and a better motor than Arkansas point guard Courtney Fortson. As one of the more exciting players in the country, Fortson plays an attacking style of basketball, while displaying a never back down attitude. With that said, his biggest strength could be his biggest weakness as he tends to play out of control as a result of his blazing speed – failing to recognize good vs. bad opportunities from time to time. That immaturity, coupled with poor decision making skills are expected of most freshmen, which means this season, Razorback nation will be anticipating a more polished and seasoned point guard leading their squad.

In order to be that player, Fortson will have to learn how to pick his spots while staying true to his aggressive nature. He plays tough and feisty, going every possession at 100%. At only 5’10, Fortson is a very good athlete with tremendous upper body strength.

His reactionary skills are rather impressive as well, routinely tracking down loose balls or getting into passing lanes which often results in him getting to the basket by leading a one man fast break. The southpaw uses hesitation moves, head and shoulder fakes off the bounce, and changes direction at the drop of a dime. He does a good job at keeping his dribble alive, but does get into trouble when he over dribbles, resulting in stagnant offensive possessions.

Getting to the basket for Fortson was one thing, but converting on those chances was another story. On one side, Fortson could be electric in the open court, showing a flare for the spectacular, making shots from impossible angles against players a foot taller than him. Unfortunately for Fortson though, shots like that were hardly the norm, as he had a tendency to over commit himself – forcing up tough looks on a nightly basis. Consequently, Fortson shot a modest 49.2% on shots at the basket last season. In order to increase that percentage, he’ll have to learn how to be more comfortable operating from 5 to 10 feet out – shooting runners and tear drops to counter interior defenses. This issue will only be compounded at the professional level, as his severe lack of size will be exposed far more often against the higher quality big men he’s bound to face.

The lack of perimeter help last season may have contributed to his questionable shot selection, as playing for a team that struggled so badly after a great start must have been frustrating for the freshman. Despite the limited support, Fortson managed to fill up the stat sheet, averaging 14.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists (7th in the country) – impressive numbers for any player let alone one in his first season. The one statistical category however which was not all that impressive was that of his turnovers.

Fortson was number one in the country last season in turnovers per game, coughing it up 4.4 times every night he took the court. Those numbers are consistent with his go-go style of play and out of control fashion. He handled the ball often and was responsible for nearly a quarter of his team’s possessions, but turning it over on 26% of his possessions is inexcusable. Due to his high assist numbers, Fortson still managed to have a decent 1.34 assist to turnover ratio. That ratio will surely rise with a greater emphasis on valuing the ball.

Fortson’s shooting is another area that can use some improvement. His adjusted FG% on catch and shoot opportunities was only 36% last season, showing a slow release, a flat arc and an inconsistency in his elevation. Off the dribble, he appeared to be a bit more comfortable, but his efficiency was still average, shooting an adjusted FG% of 36.2%. It’s not out of the question to see him improve his percentages as he has a nice stroke and the confidence to go with it, but his shot selection and few quirks must get better.

On the defensive end, Fortson uses his never ending energy to harass the opposing point guards. He puts a lot of pressure on the ball and has great lateral speed along with a strong frame, making him a difficult player to beat off the dribble. Off the ball, he’s very bouncy and aware of what’s going on, showing good anticipation skills and active hands, almost always making his presence felt. He does gamble on occasion which puts him out of position, but you can almost live with that because of how hard he plays and his great knack for getting the ball, coming up with over a steal a game.

Hi 5.5 rebounds a game are worth mentioning again, considering the fact that he was 8th in the nation in that category amongst all point guards. He’s great at chasing down long boards and is not afraid to mix it up inside with the bigger players.

Fortson is quite a bit older than your typical college sophomore, turning 22 in June, which puts him at the same age as many seniors. His off court actions are something to keep an eye on, as he was suspended indefinitely last season for reportedly being somewhat of a malcontent. Nonetheless, Fortson will hopefully be making more news this year for his on the court actions with hopes of building off his superb freshman season while making Arkansas competitive in the SEC.

National High School Hoops Festival Recap

Joey Whelan
Joey Whelan
Dec 14, 2007, 04:18 am
The Razorbacks are getting themselves quite a player when Fortson enrolls there in the fall. We were lucky enough to see Fortson play twice during the weekend, both times against elite teams (South Kent and American Christian), and the speedy guard did not disappoint.

Despite being just 5’10”, Fortson was the most dominant player we saw. The first thing that jumps out about his game is his fearlessness. Nearly every time the ball wound up in Fortson’s hands he was using his excellent first step to drive hard at the basket. He has great elevation, able to easily dunk the basketball cleanly with two hands, and this coupled with his ability to take contact makes him a real threat as a slasher. Fortson really exhibited great body control and a nice touch around the rim, making him very tough to stop even in traffic.

Fortson displayed a real toughness that coaches love to see from point guards. He came down with a lot of tough rebounds in crowds of much taller players simply because of his tenacity going after the ball. Fortson also showed a knack for stepping up his game in big situations. In his second game against American Christian, Fortson absolutely dominated the overtime period, outscoring the opposition by himself. At points he looked nearly unstoppable, even when the defense knew he would be driving to the basket.

There is still some work to be done for Fortson. Improving his perimeter shooting is a must, although he does show nice touch on his shot. He also makes some questionable decisions at times, sometimes moving almost too fast to make the smart play. There’s no question though, Fortson is a gamer and has a nose for scoring. He is an intriguing prospect that should get a decent amount of playing time at Arkansas fairly quickly.

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Ryan Griffiths
Ryan Griffiths
Jul 11, 2007, 09:51 am
Fortson didn't show the crowd much from the perimeter, but he was a lighting rod for Team Rondo, getting to the hoop at will scoring 16 points in each of his two games Monday. It seemed like every time you looked up he was slashing and finishing again. Fortson is a very speedy point guard who is almost as strong as he is fast. His ball handling and decision-making could use some work, but his overall nose for the hoop makes him a very intriguing prospect. If he adds a jumper to his game, this guy could be scary good.

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