Randy Foye: "All Heart"
Randy Foye was born September 24, 1983 in Newark, New Jersey. Foye’s father Antonio was killed in a motorcycle accident when Randy was three. Three years later, his mother Regina dropped him off at kindergarten, and Randy and his brother never saw her again. Foye doesn’t know what happened to her. However, Foye’s grandmother took him in and his neighbor helped him learn the game of basketball. Foye keeps alive the hope that he will someday see his mother again, and he even has an image of her face permanently tattooed onto his left pectoral. In June 2006, it was reported that Foye has the rare condition situs inversus, which means his organs are arranged as the mirror image of a normal person’s: for example, his heart is in the right side of his chest rather than the left. However, it is not expected that this fact will have an impact on his game.
Foye entered his rookie year on a team that already had six guards on its roster. Off-season free-agent acquisition Mike James was slated to start at point guard, Foye’s most likely position in the NBA, and Ricky Davis at shooting guard. This left Foye to battle for minutes on a bench full of guards.
Foye’s 2006-07 averages of 10.1 points and 2.8 assists may seem underwhelming for a player who was projected as a potential Rookie of the Year. But when you consider that Randy played a mere 22.9 minutes per game, those numbers become quite impressive. Foye was brought along slowly early on and only averaged 14.6 minutes in his first month. However, when he was given the opportunity to shine, Randy seized it. In the fourteen games in which he played thirty minutes or more, Foye averaged 17.1 points and 5.6 assists. (By the way, Brandon Roy averaged 16.4 and 4.0 while playing 35.4 minutes.) Last season, Foye also gained experience handling high-pressure situations. Randy hit a game-winning shot against the Bulls, found Davis for last-second three vs. Boston, and led the charge during several of the Wolves’ fourth-quarter rallies.
Much speculation has been made this year concerning Randy’s ability to lead the Timberwolves as their starting point guard. TWolvesBlog Columnist, Dave Kelsey (a.k.a. College Wolf), is one of the leading opposers of the "Foye as PG" strategy. Here’s what he’s had to say:
Last season Randy learned the basic nuances of playing point guard, which is
admittedly a good foundation on which to build. However, any cohesion
with last year’s players is largely lost, due to the roster turnover from
the Garnett trade. Now, he has a plethora of new players and "styles" to
get re-accustomed to.
As for technical aspects of his game, he needs to become better at
penetrating the defense and looking for the quick dish or kick out to the
open man, rather than his own shot. According to NBA.com/Hotzones, Foye shot
54% on 264 FG’s within 3 feet of the hoop, but shot less than 40% in 6 of
the other 8 hot zones within the perimeter. With more experience and time,
he should become more apt at finding the open man and knowing when to look
for his own shot.
Is Foye ready to become the floor general and catalyst for this young
offense? From what I saw last year, he looked more comfortable in the
off-guard position, rather than being relied on as the primary ball-handler.
While I certainly agree that Foye is better suited as a shooting-guard, I still believe he’s the right choice to lead this young team as it’s currently formed. Neither Sebastian Telfair nor Marko Jaric have proven themselves to be a starting-caliber point guard in this league. So in some ways, Randy’s been given the opportunity by default, as sliding him over to the point allows Wittman to play his five best players at one time.
This year is going to be a season of transition. If Randy doesn’t turn out to be the franchise’s ultimate solution at point guard, the team will have plenty of opportunities to find that player. I don’t see any problem with giving Foye a chance to prove himself at his preferred position. If nothing else, it will at least give him a season to gain experience and increase his basketball knowledge. And who knows? Maybe he’ll prove all the doubters wrong and be the catalyst that takes the Wolves to the next level.
Either way, Randy Foye is not only a player whom this season’s success hinges upon, he’s a foundational piece to the Timberwolves rebuilding plans for the next decade. Until he starts to put up the numbers we all know he can, there will still be those who complain about the Roy for Foye draft day trade. But those doubters should take their 20/20 hindsight and switch it around to foresight, because the future is bound to be bright for this young player. Randy Foye has proven time and time again that he will overcome any and all obstacles. The kid is all heart…
…Even if it is backwards.