Versatile Foye gives Corbin added flexibility

Nov 15 2012 - 7:58pm

Images

(RICK BOWMER/The Associated Press)
Utah Jazz guard Randy Foye (8) celebrates after a 3-pointer against the Los Angeles Lakers in Salt Lake City last week.
(RICK BOWMER/The Associated Press)
Utah Jazz guard Randy Foye (8) celebrates after a 3-pointer against the Los Angeles Lakers in Salt Lake City last week.

Randy Foye doesn't care where he plays, he just wants a spot on the floor.

The Utah Jazz guard is capable of playing either the point or the shooting guard position, depending on where and how he's needed. Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin likes that option, which is what the team envisioned when they signed Foye to a free agent contract in July.

The former Villanova standout, who'll make a return to Philadelphia tonight when the Jazz visit the 76ers, is happy playing either position.

"Whatever it takes," he said. "I'm here to help us take the next step, so whatever it takes."

At 6-foot-4 and a sturdy 220 pounds, Foye is built to play against bigger guards, which is why he has generally been regarded as a shooting guard during his six-plus seasons in the NBA.

Coming into this season, the 29-year-old owned a career shooting percentage of 41 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3-point range.

"All my life I've been playing the two slot because I can shoot the ball so well," he said. "Also, in crucial situations -- critical situations -- I've always played point guard where I bring it up and make a play."

Drafted by the Boston Celtics with the No. 7 overall pick in 2006, Foye was traded to Portland and then to Minnesota on draft night. During his first three seasons in the league - all with the Timberwolves - he bounced between the two guard spots.

During the 2008-09 season he started 61 of 70 games, averaging 16.3 points and a career-high 4.3 assists per game.

"I'm pretty comfortable (playing point guard)," he said. "To me, all point guard is, really, is being a general, being a coach on the floor."

With the Jazz this season, Foye has come off the bench to provide an offensive lift. So far he's averaging 12.2 points and 1.8 assists per game.

"We came out the first few days of (training camp) and all he ran was (shooting guard)," Corbin said. "He wanted to learn one position first. I thought it took him a little bit to get used to playing the point and he did it for a while and enjoyed the time at point."

On Monday, when the Jazz picked up their first road win of the season, he played 36 minutes and scored 20 points while hitting 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point line.

It was his second 20-point effort of the season. He also scored 20 - with a 4-for-7 effort behind the arc - in a Nov. 2 loss at New Orleans.

Foye started at point guard in Utah's final preseason game, a 97-91 victory over Portland.

Throughout training camp and the preseason Corbin insisted he wanted to get Foye more opportunities at point guard. When starter Mo Williams came up with a strained groin, Corbin didn't hesitate to put Foye in the starting lineup.

He played only 22 minutes that night and was only 1-for-4 from the floor, but he had no trouble running the offense.

"The main thing for me when I'm out there at the point is I try to understand I can't be as aggressive as when I'm not at the point," he said.

Playing four years at Villanova (2002-06) Foye averaged 14.9 points and 3.2 assists per game. As a senior he was a finalist for the John Wooden Award and a first-team All-American.

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