Classic: Fells Scores 27 To Capture MVP Honors

<B>RICHMOND, Va. --</b> Despite seeing his National All-Stars lose 147-131 to the Virginia All-Stars, NC State signee Courtney Fells certainly won over the fans in attendance with his outstanding play in capturing MVP honors for the National All-Stars.

Courtney Fells, a 6'6 shooting guard from Shannon, Mississippi, finished the night with 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field, including 4-of-8 from the 3-point arc. The outstanding athlete also added seven rebounds, four steals, two blocks, and two assists to win MVP honors for the National All-Stars.

"I was just wanting to have fun, that's basically all I wanted to do," a smiling Fells said afterwards. "I wasn't worried about how many points I scored. I just wanted to have fun and learn something new."

The Virginia All-Stars were led by Cincy signee Tyree Evans, who finished with 29 points, seven assists, and four rebounds for the winning squad. Evans drilled 5-of-11 3-pointers and sparked an offensive attack that shot 53.9% from the field.

Fells soars in for two of his 27 points.

Fells, who didn't start for the National All-Stars, started slow out the gate as he was 0-of-2 from the field in the first quarter. However, he erupted early in the second quarter when he slammed back home a missed jumper from guard Josh Thornton. The thunderous dunk brought the crowd to its feet, but Fells wasn't done yet. On the next possession he jammed down an alley-oop pass off the backboard from Thornton and followed that up with a rejection on the other end of a layup attempt by Tyrese Rice. To end the string of super plays, Fells then drilled a deep 3-pointer from the top of the arc and within a span of two minutes he had seven points and looked comfortable on both ends of the floor.

Fells showed the overall skills that made him NC State's top priority in the Class of 2005, and he'll add outstanding athleticism and scoring ability to the Wolfpack program.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of his game was the intensity he displayed on the defensive end. All-star games are never known for having much defense, but Fells had four steals and two blocks in the contest. The play of the night could have been his block of Virginia Tech signee Terrance Vinson's dunk attempt in the fourth quarter.

Vinson, a 6'8 power forward, caught a bounce pass from Tyree Evans and went up to dunk over Fells with two hands. However, Fells went up with his right arm extended and simply snatched the dunk away in mid-air to start the fastbreak which he finished with a jam on the offensive end.

"I tried to do some stuff on defense because I know a lot of times people say there's no defense in all-star games," Fells said.

His effort on both ends of the floor impressed National All-Star head coach David Sutton.

"Wow... he's a tremendous athlete," Sutton, the head coach at Monteverde Academy said. "He sees the floor well, has great range on his jumpshot, and is very athletic. I think he fits perfectly into NC State's system.

"They've done a wonderful job of recruiting him and his parents did a great job of raising him. He's an outstanding young man, and I think he's gonig to have a great career at NC State."

Fells is now just looking forward to arriving in Raleigh and beginning his career at NC State.

"I just can't wait," he said. "I'm working on my strength now, and I'm just ready to play there."

Additional Notes: NBA "hopeful" Andray Blatche finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds, but didn't have the type of game that warrants NBA talk... Richmond got a steal in A.D. Vassallo, who had 19 points... Wake signees Kevin Swinton and David Weaver will add athleticism and toughness to the Deacons frontcourt, but both appeared limited offensively as they finished with eight and four points respectively... North Carolina signee Marcus Ginyard displayed a strong overall game, as he tallied 22 points, six rebounds and two assists. He'll fit in nicely with the Heels. National All-Star point guards Josh Thornton (Georgetown) and Denis Clemente are, let's just say "shoot-first" point guards. Their inability to run the offense effectively and choosing to look for their own shots played a major role in the National All-Stars defeat. Clemente finished with 22 points and appeared to have a terrific stroke. He'll fit in well at Miami.

National MVP Courtney Fells (left), Classic Organizer Thomas Leachman (center), and Virginia MVP Tyree Evans (right)

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