Rookie Update: Randy Foye

Rookie Update:  Randy Foye
Jan 05, 2007, 03:36 pm
After a slow start to his rookie campaign, Randy Foye has stepped up his game lately, and won the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December. In addition to solid individual play, Foye has taken minutes from struggling point guard Mike James. If not for his strong play, the Timberwolves would not be at 15-15 at this point in the season

Foye will never be a pass first point guard, but his passing ability is better than many people thought coming out of college. He is at his best when he runs the high pick and roll with Kevin Garnett. Since teams don’t like leaving Garnett open, Foye usually can get around the help defender and to the basket. He is very crafty at finishing inside, and uses a wide variety of backboard angles to finish. Foye’s mid-range game is also solid, and he uses both floaters and pull-ups from the 14-18 foot range to score off the dribble. His 3 point shot is hit or miss at this point, but it has improved lately, and he doesn’t force too many shots from the outside.

Defensively, Foye is solid right now, but still has lapses from time to time. He does a good job of staying low in his stance and pressuring the ball, but he is sometimes late on rotations, and his help positioning needs to improve. In defensive situations, Foye is usually used to guard the opposing team’s point guard.

Foye is most valuable to the Timberwolves in crunch time, where his strong play has won games all season long. Late in December, Foye hit a game winner against the Chicago Bulls, and Wolves Coach Dwane Casey ran two plays for him in the last minute of the game. Against the Spurs last night, Minnesota blew a double digit lead in the fourth quarter, but Foye stepped up and played well in the overtime period. He hit a mid-range jumper off the dribble against Tony Parker from about 17 feet to give Minnesota a 4 point lead in overtime, and he a pair of big free throws after San Antonio had cut the lead back to 2 points. Coach Casey is giving Foye the chance to hit big shots in the fourth quarter, and he has flourished with the chance more often than not.

There are a few weaknesses Foye will have to improve on at this point before he is a complete NBA player. He drives in to traffic too often at this point, and puts himself in situations where he has no chance to finish. In college he was able to finish in these situations, but it’s a little different when Tim Duncan is waiting to block your shot. He will need to learn when to go all the way to the hoop, and when to pull up and use his mid-range game. There are also times when Foye over-dribbles and it causes the offense to stall. He has improved in this regard lately as he has gained more playing time and become more comfortable with running an NBA offense.

Randy Foye has played up to expectations thus far in his young NBA career. He is receiving much of the fourth quarter playing time, and keeping veteran players like Mike James on the bench. Minnesota fans are wanting Foye in the starting lineup, but in the NBA, it is the lineup in the last 6 minutes of the fourth quarter that is the most important. With his scoring ability and clutch play, Foye looks reminiscent to a young Nick Van Exel. If the Timberwolves are to stay around the .500 mark within striking distance of the playoffs, Randy Foye will need to continue to play as he did in December.

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