CANMORE, Alta. — The list of talented freshmen in 2017-18 seems to add a few names each and every week.
Several talents fly under the radar before the season begins, especially at smaller schools across the country. Teams know that they sign talented players from the start, but it takes the rest of the nation a little bit longer to realize their potential.
One of those players is guard Justin Forrest. The native of Decatur, GA is in his first season with the Appalachian State Mountaineers, and has already emerged as a secondary scoring option alongside junior Ronshad Shabazz.
Forrest is currently second on the team in scoring, trailing only Shabazz, and he has a pair of 30+ point performances under his belt early in his collegiate career. While it’s early, all signs point to him being another top-tier weapon for the Mountaineers as they look to climb in the Sun Belt standings this season.
For his efforts this past week, freshman guard Justin Forrest has been selected by the fans as the College Court Report Fan-Voted Freshman of the Week for November 20-26, 2017!
Forrest received the most votes in our weekly Twitter poll, earning more votes than Tywhon Pickford (Northern Iowa), Roman Penn (Siena), and Tariq Simmons (The Citadel) for the weekly honour.
Appalachian State entered the week on the heels of a win over the UTEP Miners, which ended their mini two-game losing streak. They sat at 3-2 on the season, and were looking to keep their winning ways going early in 2017-18.
Up first for the Mountaineers this past week was a road contest against the James Madison Dukes. It was arguably Forrest’s top game during his first two weeks in the NCAA, but the Mountaineers as a team would fall just short in terms of the win.
The game needed double overtime, but the Dukes held down their home court with a 105-99 victory over Appalachian State. Forrest played a career-high 40 minutes, pouring in a career-high 36 points in the process, on 11-of-20 shooting from the floor. He was also 7-of-12 from three point range, and he dished out four assists in the loss.
On Saturday, the Mountaineers returned home to Boone, NC for a date with the Davidson Wildcats and their high-powered offense. Forrest was a key factor in Appalachian State’s 78-62 win, pushing their record to 4-3 in the process.
In 27 minutes of action, Forrest recorded 16 points, on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor, to go along with four rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Davidson had posted 110 and 108 points in their first two games, both of which were wins. Their loss to the Mountaineers was their second straight game being held below 70 points.
For the week, Forrest averaged 26 points per game, while shooting a combined 16-of-29 (55.2%) from the field, and 9-of-17 (52.9%) from three point range. Forrest added 2.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game over the two contests for the Mountaineers.
Through his first seven games in the NCAA, the 6’2” Forrest has shown that he’s capable of leading the team on offense. He can hit shots from ling distance with a high level of consistency, and is a factor on both ends of the court.
As he gains more experience in the NCAA, he’ll become a more consistent scoring threat for the Mountaineers. Fans of Appalachian State have to be excited about what they’ve seen from Forrest so far, and what the future has in store for him on an individual level, along with the program as a whole.
For his efforts this past week, a stretch of games that saw him post a new career-high in a double-overtime win over James Madison, Appalachian State guard Justin Forrest was selected as the College Court Report Fan-Voted Freshman of the Week for November 20-26, 2017!
– T. Bennett
Nov. 13 – 19, 2017: Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA Roadrunners
Nov. 10 – 12, 2017: Cameron Bacote, Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks
**College Court Report Freshman of the Week recipients are selected from teams in the following conferences:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Summit League, SWAC, Sun Belt, West Coast, and WAC