Top Frosh: Bost or Fortson?

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A story by Tom Murphy in the Arkansas Democrat Gazzette takes a look at the frontrunners for year-end SEC honors. Player of the Year? LSU’s Marcus Thornton, Murphy says. Coach: LSU’s Trent Johnson. Freshman: “Arkansas point guard Courtney Fortson has the edge over Mississippi State’s Dee Bost,” Murphy writes. And I wondered, does he? So I decided to break it down, and here is the argument for each.

• Fortson (5-11, 180) has the better numbers in the big three categories: in 21 games, he’s averaging 14.8 points, 6.5 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game. In eight SEC games, those numbers are 14.3, 5.6 and 4.3. Bost is averaging 10.5, 4.5 and 3.1 overall, including 12.6, 5.0 and 3.0 in conference. Fortson’s a better slasher, which explains his higher shooting percentage (43.8 to Bost’s 36.9). There is absolutely no doubt he is the catalyst, the proverbial Energizer bunny for the Hogs. He accounts for 47.8 percent of Arkansas’ assists (49.6 in SEC play), while Bost accounts for 34.9 percent of State’s (40.7 in SEC). Arkansas averages 13.6 assists per game, but just 11.3 in SEC games; MSU averages 12.9 and 12.3.

What’s that last stat tell us? That MSU plays a four-guard lineup and has more players than Arkansas capable of dishing it. Less pressure on Bost than on Fortson.

• Bost (6-2, 170) supporters will point to one stat first: He is 2-0 against Fortson and outplayed him both times. In a 70-56 MSU win in Fayetteville, Bost out-scored Fortson 17-5, out-assisted him 5-4 and out-rebounded him 5-3. Bost was 6-for-11 shooting (3-6 from 3-point), while Fortson was 2-for-13 (0-5 from deep). In Starkville (86-77 State win), Bost scored a career-high 25, and while Fortson notched 19 points, 15 of those came in the first half. Each player had 7 assists, and both shot well: Bost 9-14 (6-8 from 3-point), Fortson 8-for-14 (2-3).

But there is much, much more to this argument for Bost. And this is where he can win the argument: Bost turns the ball over 2.5 times per game (23 games), and in SEC games, that number is 1.6. Fortson – and keep in mind his style is more pell-mell than the deliberate Bost – is committing 4.3 turnovers per game, 4.5 in the SEC. So Bost has a better assist/turnover ratio, 1.79 to 1.52. In SEC games, the gap is even wider: 3.1 to 1.3. That, to me, is the biggest stat for a point guard.

Throw this in as well: While Fortson has a better overall shooting percentage, Bost is hitting 35.1 percent of his 3-pointers, including 37.5 percent in SEC games; Fortson is hitting 29.2 percent and just 17.9 percent against SEC foes. At the free throw line, Bost is a 69.2-percent shooter (70.6 in SEC) to Fortson’s 58.9 (63.6 SEC).

One more thing: In the eight major categories – points, assists, rebounds, turnovers, assist/turnover ratio, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage – Fortson’s SEC numbers are higher than his overall numbers in only one of them, free throws. Bost has upped his numbers in seven categories (rebounds are 3.1 overall, 3.0 in SEC).

After an initial look at the numbers, I started writing this thinking Fortson really did have the edge. Now, I don’t think he does. Of course, eight games remain. Let the battle continue.

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16 Responses to “Top Frosh: Bost or Fortson?”

  1. imabulldog Says:

    First of all, Fortson is a thug. And I’m tired of this “obama” type love affair that raycom announcers have with him as well.

    It literally took til about 7 minutes left in the game the other day to get any recognition at all.

    BTW, stop by my site-to see a picture of the thug, and maybe add him to the list of your ‘hated’ athletes. 🙂

    Sorry, just don’t like him, his popularity and success will go about as far as Irvin’s did.

  2. imabulldog Says:

    He comes of squeeky clean, but I saw his true colors the other night when playing UT.

    He and another Hog were in the middle of a handshake that lasted for like 10 seconds, and an unaware UT player happened to walk by them-and mess up their beloved ‘handshaking ritual’. So how did Mr Classy respond? By elbowing and shoving the ‘unaware’ UT guy in the chest.

    And besides, when he is on the court, not only do I want to turn the channel because its Arky, but I also automatically thinks its Girl’s bball

  3. Brad Locke Says:

    One other point: MSU is winning ballgames, Arkansas is not.

  4. imabulldog Says:

    Sorry Brad for going off…

    But yeah, you are right. Bost is leading his team to W’s, and like you mentioned Bost has won both matchups vs Fortson

  5. imabulldog Says:

    And Murphy doesn’t know what he’s talking about, UT doesn’t having anything locked up.

  6. msudawginbama Says:

    thornton reminds me of ervin with less help around him….
    *shiver*
    bad memories, that…

  7. imabulldog Says:

    yep

  8. s084swd Says:

    How big would it be for us to beat LSU tonight? We need it badly. We’ve got to get our RPI up. If we can just contain Marcus Thornton and Tasmin Mitchell particularly, we should have a shot. I’d be there if I could. Good luck Bulldogs!

  9. thespear Says:

    Good work BL!!!!!

    Lets get the hump hype tonight!!!

    L S WHO?

  10. rwriffe Says:

    • On Bost: “He’s as good as any guard in the league, forget the fact that he’s a freshman.”

    This quote came directly from none other than John Pelphrey himself. That should end this debate without a doubt. I wonder which player he’d rather have for the next 3 years.

  11. dc31 Says:

    He does look feminine. Courtney is not the most masculine name in the world either. But there is no way that he is better than Bost. Bost has total control of this team as a freshman. He’s a leader

  12. leeearl Says:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=3903460

    One word….thug

  13. bleedmaroon Says:

    Yeah I guess we have our answer to this question. Frotson suspended indefinitely.

  14. bleedmaroon Says:

    *Fortson sorry

  15. imabulldog Says:

    I’ve been callin him a THUG for 2 weeks now, just see my site 🙂

    I knew his true colors would show eventually

  16. imabulldog Says:

    Oh well…Bost “Freshman of the Yr” 🙂

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