FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas point guard Courtney Fortson averaged 25 points last week in victories at Georgia and over Auburn and provided clutch play for the Razorbacks as they moved into the top spot in the SEC West.
That was enough to catch the attention of the SEC Office as the league named the sophomore from Mobile, Ala., its Player of the Week.
Fortson, who missed the first 14 games of the season for disciplinary reasons, tallied 27 points on the road against Georgia on Wednesday night and returned to Bud Walton Arena to score 24 to lead the Hogs past Auburn.
On the year, Fortson is averaging 20.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He has three double-doubles and five 20-point games.
“Courtney is playing very well for us right now and is a big part of our success of late,” Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. “He has a knack for scoring and getting fouled and his hard work practicing his shot in the off season has really paid off.”
Fortson's natural position is point guard, but in recent games, he has moved to the two guard spot for portions of games.
"I credit the coaching staff for moving me to the two spot at times," Fortson said. "That's giving me a better chance to attack. It's also a credit to my teammates for helping me out and creating opportunities for me like I try to do for them. It's all about the team and winning."
Fortson was electric in the overtime period of the Hogs' 82-79 victory over Auburn, scoring 10 of the Razorbacks' 15 points, but his aggressiveness offensively did not detract from his overall game, as Pelphrey pointed out.
"Courtney hit a three and a jumper, but he also found Marshawn for a big basket," Pelphrey said of his overtime play. "In regulation, his penetration opened up a three for Rot[nei Clarke]."
Fortson also grabbed 10 rebounds against the Tigers to garner his third double-double in just 9 games and dished out seven assists.
"Courtney has very good instincts," Pelphrey said when asked about Fortson, taking over the game in overtime. "He's a cerebral player. He understands angles. He can find holes in a defense. We like to put him a position where he can play and read."
Clarke, who roomed with Fortson during the summer, said the point guard's performances during the Razorbacks four-game winning streak are an everyday occurance to him and the rest of the Hogs.
"Not a surprise at all," Clarke said. "We see that everyday in practice. Even when he wasn't playing. Courtney's a special player."
This is the second Player of the Week award and third SEC honor for Fortson in his career. He was named the SEC Player of the Week on Dec. 15, 2008 and the SEC Freshman of the Week on Dec. 22, 2008. Fortson becomes just the fifth Arkansas player to earn two SEC Player of the Week honors in his career and the first since Jonathan Modica earned one in each of the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
The Razorbacks are back in action Wednesday at 7 p.m. when the LSU Tigers visit Bud Walton Arena.