Nelson is a 6-foot-1, 180 pound guard who prepped at Bloomfield High School in New Jersey where he was named the Newark Star-Ledger's New Jersey Player of the Year.
He started his collegiate career at Richmond. Nelson averaged 6.1 points, 2.0 assists and 1.6 rebounds as a freshman in 2004-05.
Nelson played in all 29 Rutgers' games in 2006-07. He averaged 3.7 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 17.4 mpg.
Playing time dropped this past season. He averaged 3.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 13.7 mpg, seeing action in about 40 percent (13 of 31) of the 11-20 Scarlet Knight's games.
A non-division I school would enable Nelson, who already had five college years under his jersey, to play immediately. And there was a pretty good one just around the corner.
William Paterson was 19-7 last season, 10-3 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). The Pioneers won the league's North Division title. A point kept WPU from the NJAC championship crown and a return trip to the Division III NCAA tournament. They lost to Richard Stockton College, 67-66.
Pioneer head coach Jose Rebimbas is 241-116 in 13 seasons at the school. Ten (10) of his players have gone on to professional basketball, the most renowned, three-time Division III Player of the Year Horace Jenkins.
Another player getting paid to play is three-year starting guard Joey Spiegel. He averaged 10.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 107 career games.
Spiegel and two other senior guards accounted for 42.3 percent of the playing time and 42.7 percent of the points last season. There is no "junior guard in waiting" on the roster.
Enter Courtney Nelson in a situation where he can succeed.