Courtney's Coming

In his weekly column, Dudley E. Dawson chats with PG Courtney Fortson (5-11, 175), who joins 6-9 forward Terrance Henry and 6-5 Memphis standout Terrico White on official visits to Arkansas this weekend. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event on the Arkansas Toyota Dealers website. Click on a banner for details.




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What happens in Las Vegas doesn't always stay in Las Vegas.

Just ask O.J. Simpson.

Or the fast-rising prep point guard from The Patterson (N.C. ) School slated to visit the University of Arkansas this weekend.

That would be Courtney Fortson (5-11, 175) who took his game to another level during the Reebok Summer Championships AAU Tournament in Vegas in late July.

Because of his performances before Razorback head coach John Pelphrey and assistant Tom Ostrom, last year's Mr. Basketball in the state of Alabama soon found the UA hot on his recruiting trail.

"They've talked to me about how I am just what they are looking for and there is a good chance for me to come in and start right away," Fortson said. "That has me excited."

Fortson will join Monroe (La.) Carroll forward Terrance Henry (6-9, 185) and Memphis Craigmont swingman Terrico White (6-5, 195) in taking official visits to Arkansas this weekend.

Fortson averaged 25 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals last season for Jefferson Davis High in Montgomery, Ala.

"I know that Arkansas has some great players already there and are recruiting some great ones," Fortson said. "Combine that with their up-tempo style and they have a senior point guard and I would chance to come in and start right away makes it something I am very interested in."

Certainly all three players have impressed the national experts like Dave Telep, Scout.com's national recruiting director.

Fortson is ranked as the second-best post-graduate point guard in the country.

"This is a score-first point man," Telep noted. "Fortson does a nice job of putting pressure on defense and you have to account for him. The trick during his post-grad year will be rounding out his approach at the position so he is comfortable getting everybody involved."

Henry, in the mold of NBA rookie Kevin Durant, is a skilled forward who Scout.com has ranked as the 60th-best player nationally.

"Love this guy," Telep said. "He's long, has bounce and can potentially play to mid-range. There is a certain expectation that comes with as much length as he does."

White is a phenomenal athlete with a 42-inch vertical, the ability to take the ball off the dribble and also the ability to knock down 3-pointers.

"What an athlete who is also a very good basketball player," Telep said. "He has a bright future ahead of him."

Fortson reminds some of hard-nosed former Razorback point guard Corey Beck who led Arkansas to a national title in 1994 and back to the championship game in 1995.

He appeared headed to Cincinnati at first, but has since opened up his recruitment and has Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee among schools he is planning to visit.

He decided to take the prep school route this season to continue to develop both on the court and in the classroom and landed at Patterson.

"I think Patterson is going to be a great situation for me," Fortson said. "There is a lot of individual attention in the classroom and individual workouts on the court.

"We have about 12 Division 1 player on our team out of about 15 players so I am going to be playing with a lot of guys who will go on to college and be stars," Fortson added. "But I am also getting everything in order as well with great teachers and working on my education."

O o o



Tidbits:

…Arkansas coaches were expected to have a home visit Tuesday with New Orleans (La.) Holy Cross forward Brandon Moore.

Moore is a 6-8, 205-combo forward who lived and played in Little Rock when displaced by Hurricane Katrina and who has taken several unofficial visits to Fayetteville.

…Arkansas brought in Oklahoma guard Rotnei Clarke (6-1, 180), Okaloosa-Walton (Fla.) Community College forward Keith Ramsey (6-8, 205) and Chicago center Stan Simpson (6-9, 220) last weekend.

All three are expected to make a decision in the not-too-distant future and ink during the November early signing period.

Simpson will visit Illinois on Oct. 5-7 while Ramsey will make his decision between Arkansas and Missouri.

Clarke is down to five or six schools – Arkansas, Tulsa, ORU, Oklahoma State, Gonzaga and Kentucky, who has not taken a home visit with the young man as of yet.





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