Don’t hate Randy Foye. As soon as Utah signed Foye back in July, it seemed like most Jazz fans were initially impressed at how reasonable the deal was for a proven 3-point threat… then everyone was suddenly terrified that he was going to devour all of Alec Burks’ minutes. Fans might be preconditioned to have that sort of response after watching C.J. Miles and Raja Bell do unspeakable basketball things last season while Burks stared into space from the bench, but there isn’t nearly the same amount danger with Foye. I have two central reasons why Randy Foye is awesome: 1) His Villanova teams from a few years back are in the pantheon for most entertaining college basketball teams ever. Easily. I picked them to go too far in my March Madness bracket in both 2005 and 2006 and I don’t even regret it at all because they were so much fun. Whatever happened to Allan Ray, anyway? 2) If he plays backup point guard and fills in for Mo Williams, like he did in the final preseason game tonight, then Burks’ minutes will go largely unscathed. They can easily share the backcourt together and Foye won’t take lots of terrible shots or disappear completely or anything disastrous. 3) (Bonus!) His organs are all backwards.
Offseason Accomplishments: He is always keeping busy working for his nonprofit organization. This summer he put together Regina’s Run, named after his late mother, a 5k in Newark to help families in need. He also signed with the Jazz, obviously.
Stat to Watch: Assist percentage. Last year, the Clippers had him play exclusively as a spot-up shooter. While he filled that role very well, it didn’t really give him a chance to show off a point guard skill set, leaving him with an assist percentage of 14%. That is really low. (For point of reference, Devin Harris was at 28% last year, Jamaal Tinsley was at 36%, and Earl Watson was at 28%.) If he can get back up to 20% or so, he’ll be much better equipped to fill the role in the Jazz backcourt that they need him to fill. Oh, and if he keeps making lots of threes. That would also be good.
Three Potential Outcomes of the Season:
1. He thrives in his role as backup point guard, leading one of the most entertaining second units the Jazz have ever had in an efficient offense and stingy defense. He throws lots of alley-oops and has a great time doing it. He keeps clipping about 38% from behind the arc, endears himself to Jazz fans, and signs on for another year. Who knows? Maybe he goes to the 3-point shootout this year so that the Jazz can win something if Jeremy Evans’ repeat bid for Slam Dunk Champ goes awry.
2. He turns out to have too much of a scoring mentality to really be what Utah needs. He generally shoots tons of pull-up threes–a few too many to merit being primarily a point guard, which leads to some problems. I have to bite my lip and repeat the two-and-a-half reasons to like him mentioned above a few times to myself throughout the season, but he still shoots well enough that he stays in the good graces of Utah’s fans and organization, even if the #FreeAlecBurks movement is somewhat incensed.
3. He does really well for the Jazz until January or so, when the Big East invites Western Michigan and Eastern Washington to be full-time members of the conference starting immediately. Bursting with Villanova pride, Foye abruptly announces his retirement from the NBA and goes to coach the Wildcats and redeem Big East basketball. He exclusively uses a 7-guard rotation without playing a single player over 6’4″, they average 90 points a game and go undefeated for the rest of the season to win March Madness. I’m simply delighted because I totally picked them in my bracket.