Mizzou Hoops Recruit Update: Courtney Fortson

With half of the roster opening up after this season, the Missouri men's basketball is casting a wide net – especially when it comes to the guard spots. One name that has been on Mizzou's wishlist for some time is Alabama point guard Courtney Fortson, with whom InsideMizzou.com caught up this week for an update on his recruitment.

Fortson, who is rated the No. 5 uncommitted point guard in the Class of 2008 (16th overall among point guards), said Missouri remains among his favorites, along with Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Florida State and Cincinnati. All but Texas and FSu have offered the speedy, high-scoring lefty, who averaged 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals last year en route to Alabama Mr. Basketball honors.

Fortson was a senior last year but will spend the upcoming year at Patterson Prep in North Carolina in order to shore his grades, and hopes to make a commitment sometime around January.

"I'm still wide open right now," said Fortson, who is being recruited by MU assistant T.J. Cleveland. "We're texting away every other day. He tells me that even if I don't come to Missouri we'll still be [friends] … I like Mizzou. I think their system would fit me well."

Fortson's strengths lie in his ability to get to the rim and score in a variety of ways. He's a nightmare of a match-up for opposing points because of his versatility and the extra strength he has in his 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame, though he's not a traditional point guard in the pass-first sense. He led Jefferson Davis High to the Alabama 6A championship as a junior, earning MVP honors along the way, and reached the state finals as a senior. He's a winner, in other words, and he's well aware of MU coach Mike Anderson's full-court style of play.

"My style of play is up and down, playing pressure defense," he said. That style of play, in addition to early playing time, are his top criteria, he said.

Kentucky seemingly could be tough to beat. Fortson said he received an offer while attending UK's elite camp, and was wowed by the tradition, the facilities and the coaching staff. But while he does confess to liking the Wildcats, he's not claiming any heavy favorites.

"I think it'll be hard for anyone to beat anyone. They're all great schools," he said.

Fortson plans to visit Mizzou sometime this fall. He's had a solid offer for several months, so he's certainly one to keep and eye on as the dominoes begin to fall in what should be an exciting 2008 recruiting class.

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