Courtney Fortson's late game heroics lifted Arkansas to an 82-79 victory over Auburn Saturday in Bud Walton Arena. A team that was off to a dismal 8-11 start, once went winless for 25 days and was coming off a 31-point loss to Kentucky now has sole possession of first place in the Western Division.[details]
2007 (Sophomore): He averaged 5.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the year. He played in all 35 games and made 21 starts, and averaged just more than 19 minutes a game. He was 63-of-173 from the field (.364), 38-of-114 on threes (333) and 20-of-31 at the line (.645). He was second on the team with 74 assists, third with 38 threes and fourth with 24 steals.
In conference play, he averaged 4.8 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He shot 32.5 percent overall (27-83), 28.6 percent on threes (14-49) and 75 percent at the line (9-12).
He had 74 assists with 67 turnovers for the year, and 30 and 26, respectively, in SEC action. He led the team in assists five times and was in double figures scoring three times.
Welsh averaged 5.7 points and shot 43.5 percent (20-46) in 10 neutral site games. He averaged 6.4 points in eight games against ranked teams, and 6.4 points with a .464 shooting percentage (32-69) and a .425 three-point percentage (17-40) in 14 games against NCAA Tournament teams. In eight games in March, he averaged 5.8 points while shooting 47.1 percent overall (16-34) and 50 percent on threes (13-26).
Against the College of Charleston in San Juan (11/15), he had eight points, two rebounds, three assists and a steal. All eight points came in the first half as Arkansas built a 33-25 lead. He started against VCU (11/18) for the first of 21 straight games and had two points, one rebound and three assists.
Welsh had 12 points, on four threes, and seven assists with no turnovers against Delaware State (11/24). In the win over Missouri (11/28), he made 3-of-5 shots, finishing with nine points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Against Oral Roberts (12/1), he had four points, three rebounds and three assists. Against UTSA (12/12), he had four points, four assists and four steals.
At Oklahoma (12/15), he had nine points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 27 minutes. In the win over Baylor in Dallas (1/5), Welsh had eight points, one rebound and one assist. He was 2-of-2 on threes and 2-of-2 at the line.
Welsh had eight points on 4-of-8 shooting and three assists at Georgia (1/19). In the win over No. 25 Mississippi State (1/30), he was just 1-of-7 shooting, but 4-of-5 at the line to finish with seven points, one assist and two steals with no turnovers.
At Mississippi State (2/16), he was 4-of-5 shooting for nine points in 13 minutes. Against LSU (2/20), he was 3-of-8 from the floor but 3-of-5 on threes, finishing with 10 points, two rebounds and three assists.
In the win over Auburn (3/8), Welsh was 3-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-3 on threes, and had eight points and four assists with one steal and only one turnover.
In the SEC Tournament against No. 18 Vanderbilt (3/14), he was 4-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-5 on threes, and had 11 points and two assists. In the SEC Tournament against No. 4 Tennessee (3/15), he was 4-of-6 shooting, all threes, for 12 points with two assists.
In the NCAA Tournament against Indiana (3/21), he was 2-of-4 shooting, all threes, for six points in the first half before being forced from the game with a twisted ankle. He tried to play in the second-round loss to No. 1 North Carolina (3/23), but was 0-of-1 in just four minutes.
Playing in the 108-37 exhibition game victory over Belize Select in Cancun over Labor Day weekend prior to the season, he had eight assists, four points and two steals with four turnovers.
2006 (Freshman): He played in all 35 games with one start. He averaged 3.2 points for the year, including 4.1 in 14 games in February and March when he played 13 minutes a game. Through the first 21 games of the year, he played an average of 9.4 minutes.
Welsh averaged 3.8 points and had 18 assists with 12 turnovers in 21 games against post-season tournament teams.
He led the team in assists twice and was in double figures scoring twice.
In the semifinal win over Marist in the Old Spice Classic (11/24), he hit two threes and two free throws for eight points in 11 minutes. In the championship game win over West Virginia (11/26), he made two threes and finished with eight points in 15 minutes.
In the win over Central Michigan (12/5), he had five points, one rebound, one steal and two assists with no turnovers. He had six points on 2-of-4 shooting along with three steals in the win over Oakland (12/14).
He made his first start in the win over No. 16 LSU (1/20) and had a rebound in six minutes.
Against No. 24 Kentucky (2/3), he came off the bench and played 20 minutes. He made 5-of-11 shots, including 3-of-7 threes, and finished with 13 points, two rebounds and four assists with just one turnover.
In the win over Auburn (2/7), he had three points and two rebounds. He hit the first three of the game for the Razorbacks, extending Arkansas’ streak of games with a three to 600.
At Mississippi State (2/14), he was 2-of-5 shooting, all threes, and finished with six points, two rebounds, a steal and a team-high tying three assists with no turnovers in 16 minutes. Welsh was huge in the home win over Mississippi State (2/28), hitting 6-of-7 shots, including 4-of-5 threes, and scoring 16 points in 19 minutes off the bench.
In the win at No. 19 Vanderbilt (3/3), he was 4-of-5 at the line, finishing with four points, a rebound, two assists and a steal. He had six points, on two threes, a rebound and one assist against South Carolina in the opener of the SEC Tournament (3/8). In the quarterfinals against Vanderbilt (3/9), he had four points, a rebound and a steal in 11 minutes. In the semifinal against Mississippi State (3/10), he hit 2-of-4 threes, and had six points, two rebounds and three assists with no turnovers in 22 minutes.
Personal: Born Nov. 17, 1987, he is the son of Yolanda Welsh. He is majoring in kinesiology. Welsh wore No. 2 as a freshman but switched to No. 14 prior to the 2007-08 season.
High School: At Hargrave, he averaged 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.0 steals on a team finishing 34-2. In the Champions Prep Classic, a game between the top two ranked prep schools in the nation, he had 17 points, six assists and four rebounds in helping Hargrave post a 107-101 victory over The Patterson School.
Welsh was rated the No. 69 player in the nation by Basketball Times and No. 98 by Scout.
He was an honorable mention McDonald’s All-American as a senior at Woodside High in Newport News after averaging 20 points. He was a Nike All-American in 2004 and 2005, and also earned All-America honors from Street & Smith’s. He was first-team all-state and MVP of the 2006 seven-city Battle of the Bay all-star game. He also averaged 22.0 points as a junior and 18.0 as a sophomore. Welsh helped Woodside win two state titles.
In summer 2005, he averaged 25.0 points in the Super Showcase in Orlando after leading his team to the title of the Nike Peach Jam.
He signed with Arkansas after also considering Xavier, Virginia, Marquette, Tennessee, Boston College, Providence and Rutgers.
Also a star on the football field at Woodside, he was second-team all-state as a wide receiver and defensive back, and first-team all-district as a receiver and kick returner.