Randy Foye NBA Draft Scouting Report

Randy Foye NBA Draft Scouting Report
Mar 31, 2006, 10:42 am
A prototypical NYC-style combo guard, Randy Foye is considered one of the best pure scorers in college basketball. If deemed to have serious point guard potential for the NBA, Foye has excellent size for the position at 6-3. He is a very smooth athlete, possessing a couple of different gears he can go to, solid leaping ability, good strength and excellent body control in the lane.

Offensively, he is an attractive prospect because of how versatile and advanced a scorer he is. Foye is first and foremost a slasher, mostly thanks to his outstanding ball-handling skills and the way he can create space for himself to get his shot off. He is absolutely fearless taking the ball to the basket, and finishes strong in the toughest of situations, even with contact. Foye has all the crafty moves needed to create offense for himself, using hesitation moves, a strong crossover, excellent footwork, heads fakes and the threat of his perimeter shot. He’s terrific at changing gears and keeping his man on his heels, showing excellent improvisation skills and never being predictable in what he’s going to throw at you next. His first step isn’t incredible, but his 2nd are 3rd are much better than what you would expect, as once he gets going he just overpowers his way into the lane.

Once in the lane, Foye has excellent body control and really knows how to use his strength to his advantage, contorting himself, using the glass and scoring even in the most awkward of situations. His excellent leaping ability helps him out greatly here, as he hangs in the air for extended periods and can finish in a variety of ways. He gets to the free throw line over five times a game and never shies away from challenging players much bigger than him in the paint.

One of Foye’s biggest strengths has to be considered his mid-range game. He has no problem stopping on a dime after creating his own shot and elevating for a smooth looking jump-shot, whether he’s leaning in, fading away or using unorthodox floaters and runners to score from 8-10 feet out. He’s also very good coming off screens for the catch and shoot. Foye consistently surprises you here with his ability to knock down tough shots with ease, both spotting up and after creating off the bounce.

A part of his game that appeared to have improved greatly this year is 3-point shooting, as he was shooting right around 40% for the first few months of the season. Being more of a volume shooter, he regressed significantly down the stretch, but still showed the ability to knock shots down especially when he has space on the perimeter and isn’t forcing the issue. Unlike from mid-range, he’s significantly better on the catch and shoot than he is off the dribble, and has shown deep range here on a number of occasions this season. If a shot he thinks he can make is available for him, Foye will pull the trigger with no hesitation whatsoever, for better or for worse. He’ll never be the type of player for whom confidence will ever be an issue.

Defensively, Foye is usually just as aggressive as he is on the offensive end, possessing nice footwork and good lateral quickness. He’s willing and able to get right in his man’s grill to play tough pressure defense, stick his nose in for the charge, or come up with his fair share of steals thanks to his hands and anticipation skills. His strength and tenacity help him out greatly in this area too, as he’s the type of player that just will not be backed down without a fight. This shows up in the rebounding department as well, where he is extremely aggressive and has kept his undersized team in many games solely off the way he would help take care of the glass. This is where his toughness and leaping ability really become evident, as he likes to sky straight into the air off two feet and rip a rebound away from anyone regardless of their size.

Foye by all accounts has a winner’s mentality and appears likely to carve out a niche for himself for a long time in the NBA thanks to his aggressive style of play, his excellent attitude and the heart he shows on the court. His upbringing was not the easiest, growing up in a rough part of Newark, losing his father at age 3 and his mother at age 6, but this appears to have only made him a stronger person. His intangibles appear to be solid, particularly his leadership skills.

Despite being listed at 6-4 starting his senior year, it’s not easy to find many people who actually believe he’s that tall. The only question is, how much shorter? That wouldn’t be a problem if Foye showed more point guard skills, but he doesn’t, so this is a legitimate concern.

Foye is a scorer first and foremost, not a shooter and certainly not a playmaker. He is not a very creative passer, showing average court vision in half-court sets and having a tendency to slash to the hoop with his head down. Although he can do basic things like drive and dish or hit the open man coming off a curl, he is infinitely better creating shots for himself than he is for others. It’s not that he’s selfish. That’s just the type of player he is, as well as Villanova’s style of play, and his role within the offense.

He’s the type of player that is very dominant offensively, needing the ball in his hands excessively to make things happen, but at times showing poor decision making skills in the process by forcing the issue, particularly in his shot selection. When his shot is on then he’s absolutely money, but when he’s not…

Although he is certainly a pure scorer, calling him a streaky pure scorer would probably be a more accurate way to describe him. He’s regularly shown the ability to explode for 10-12 points in just a few minutes this year, but rarely has been able to consistently pace himself throughout an entire game. Nowhere was this more evident than in the NCAA tournament, where in nearly every outing he would score 20 points in one half (the first or second) and then be almost completely silent the next (or previous one).

Something that was touched on in the strengths section is his perimeter shooting ability. Foye is about as streaky as they come here too, coming up with numerous 1 of 8, 2 of 8, and 1 of 6 type stinkers from beyond the arc this season that absolutely killed his percentages. He is much better on the catch and shoot, but don’t let anyone tell him that since he’ll take contested fadeaway threes off the dribble all the time, indeed averaging nearly eight 3-point attempts a game despite his 35% average from this range.

Defensively, Foye doesn’t have a whole lot of experience guarding point guards, as he’s the biggest of Villanova’s 4 guards that all start and play over 28 minutes a game. He’s been asked to defend small forwards and power forwards this year much more than he has point guards or shooting guards. Although his potential looks good in this area, he’ll probably be asked to show plenty of this part of his game throughout the draft process.

Foye plays in the toughest conference in America in terms of competition night in and night out, the Big East, and was named player of the year in the conference as the 2nd leading scorer (after Quincy Douby). His team Villanova had a fantastic season, being ranked in the top 5 almost the entire year and making it to the Elite Eight where they lost to Florida. On the season Foye averaged 20.5 points per game, 5.8 rebounds and 3 assists compared with 2.2 turnovers. He shot 41% from the field, 35% from beyond the 3-point arc and 79% from the free throw line. Foye had a bit of a shaky NCAA tournament (see links: NCAA tournament articles) shooting the ball (31/80 FG, 9/32 3P), but much of this has to do with the fact that two of ‘Nova’s starting guards, Kyle Lowry and Mike Nardi, were almost complete non-factors throughout the tournament and Foye was forced to shoulder the offensive load. This is part of the reason he only had 4 assists compared with 11 turnovers in the Wildcats’ 3 crucial games before exiting.

There’s no question that Foye is a fantastic college basketball player and a very likely candidate to carve out a niche in the NBA for a long time. The only question is what role that will be in, and therefore how highly do NBA teams picking in the 1st round value that in this draft. What teams will likely ask themselves is whether he can be a starter, and if so, at what position? His skills seem to be better suited for an excellent 6th man type who can come off the bench and put up points in a hurry without having to worry too much about running his team’s offense, but the extreme lack of legit point guards in this draft means that teams might decide to label him a playmaker and hope they can teach him how to run their offense and get everyone involved. If teams think he has starting PG potential, he is likely to be drafted anywhere from 8-14, but if projected as more of a reserve, look for him to go anywhere from 10-20.

On the flip side, although he does not fit the mold of your typical point guard or shooting guard prospect in terms of his combination of size and skills, that's not as bad a thing as it used to be. Foye does appear to fit the direction of what the NBA is rapidly turning towards with the rule changes that eliminated hand-checking and made the life of scoring guards infinitely easier. It’s reached the point that nearly half the teams in the NBA have gone towards playing two smaller guards on the perimeter (usually one point and one combo) for at least parts of games, which forces defenses to change their game plan and has made the term “combo guard” much less of an insult that it was in the past. The success of combo guards like Dwyane Wade and Gilbert Arenas at the forefront, followed by players like Mike James, Jason Terry, Ben Gordon, Cuttino Mobley, Jamal Crawford, Juan Dixon, Fred Jones, Eddie House, Salim Stoudamire, Charlie Bell and many others backs this up. If GMs and especially coaches see potential in Foye to be a 6th man or 3rd guard in this mold that can come off the bench and allow his team to change the flow of the game with his offense, especially right away considering how polished he is already, his draft stock and tailor made role in the NBA will be secure. If they view him as a tweener who will have to be converted into a point, he could run into some problems.

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