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Foye's first NBA coach discusses his progress

Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Dwane Casey is pleased to see Randy Foye developing into a productive starting point guard. Casey was Foye's first coach in Minnesota, guiding him through the first 40 games of Foye's rookie season before Randy Wittman replaced him nearly three years ago.

I caught up with Casey at the morning shootaround and he raved about how Foye has come along, especially with Gilbert Arenas sidelined the past eight games.

"He's gotten better," Casey said. "He is proving why we took him with a top pick in Minnesota. He has a great body. He's doing a great job, playing with more confidence now. With Arenas out, he's done a great job of taking over."

Since Arenas was suspended indefinitely on Jan. 6, Foye is averaging 18.5 points and 6.5 assists and just two turnovers in the past eight games. "The main thing with Randy is, he knows the game," he said. "He's like a computer on the floor. His intelligence has grown since he's gotten into the NBA. He's seeing the floor now. The other thing that makes him lethal is his jump shot. Once he gets his feet set, he's so strong and powerful, he can jump up over anybody and shoot the ball. He's also improved in running a team and making decisions and being a floor general. That was the only thing that he didn't have that first year, and all rookies have to learn. Not only just him, but all rookies."

Foye has struggled with balancing scoring and distributing since he entered the league, but Casey said he has seen improvements in the past few weeks. "He's playing the way we expected him to be when he was in Minnesota. He's one of those combo guards that can play the one or the two. He can play both positions. I mean hey, he played forward in college."

Foye has scored in double figures in seven of the eight games, but Coach Flip Saunders isn't ready to proclaim him a finished product just yet. "He's learning. Randy's always been very offensive minded because he's really more of a two, as far as how he plays. He's trying to learn how to get other people involved offensively, but we still want him to maintain his aggressiveness. So he'll go through some periods where maybe he'll be a little one-dimensional so he's trying to work through that."

Saunders hasn't hesitated to chew Foye out during timeouts, often criticizing him for his tendency to dribble too much. "In two of the last three games, I've called him Curly Neal during timeouts because he looks like he's dribbling like the Harlem Globetrotters all over halfcourt. He dribbled the ball for I think 20 straight seconds and took a shot and that's a little too frustrating for me and everybody else."

But Saunders said he is surprised at how Foye has filled in for Arenas. "It's a little bit different for Randy because he'd been a starter in Minnesota and so it was not like he was coming into a situation where he wasn't comfortable in that type of role. That's one of the reasons when we made the trade was the idea that we didn't know what Gilbert was going to be like at the time from an injury standpoint, how he'd come back. If it was the situation that somebody went down, we thought we could put him in and we'd be able to survive with him as a starter."

Casey shook his head when he talked about how Foye scored 19 points off the bench when the Wizards beat the Mavericks in the season opener. "He kicked our butts the first game. I was sad for us, but happy for him," he said. "He deserves to be a starting point guard in this league, so I'm pulling for him -- just not tonight."

By Michael Lee  |  January 20, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

His offensive game is coming along. When is he going to begin concentrating on moving his feet on defense. It's no good if you score twenty and give out a handful of dimes but stiil are a minus on the balance sheet ala JAMISON.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 20, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

not only the med staff but the trainers too. No excuse for AB to have soft-a$$ noodle arms this far into his career. wtf? mcgee looks like he gets more winded now than his rookie year. BTH hasnt put on any real muscle in 9yrs. the list goes on and on

all in all pathetic

Posted by: divi3 | January 20, 2010 1:14 PM

Careful Divi3, there are some prominent posters on here that believe individual player development is solely the responsibility of the player.

They haven't been taking kindly to comments that the Team and coaches might be in any way be responsible for demanding and requiring individual player development.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 20, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that Flip chastises Foye for dribbling too much and then shooting the ball.

GTFOH. What about Boykins???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 20, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully the consistant miunutes will pay off for his game.

Posted by: millineumman | January 20, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that Flip chastises Foye for dribbling too much and then shooting the ball.

GTFOH. What about Boykins???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 20, 2010 3:05 PM

Larry did you ever think Saunders is hard on Foye because he thinks he could be the starter as where he only thinks Boykins is a situational off the bench spark and not a long term solution ????

Posted by: rnorris6 | January 20, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

oh snap take that larry

Posted by: jefferu | January 20, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Good one. Very Good.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 20, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Dwane Casey was my pick for Wiz coach. He was doing a pretty good job in Minnesota before they canned him. Just another victim of a bad GM trying to save his job.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 20, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Chris Webber wasn't THAT good.

That is all.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 20, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"Chris Webber wasn't THAT good.

That is all."

Beg to differ, he was about as good an all-around player as was in the game at the time. Has anybody had closer to Lebron's numbers since CWebb? (not that he was lebron).


Posted by: divi3 | January 20, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to like Foye quite a bit... He may be a building block for the future, which is why I think the alleged Butler for Devin Harris deal is a non-starter.

Posted by: khrabb | January 20, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

He was above average...he was a great passer...but he wasn't a dominant inside player. He was a sub 50% jump shooting PF.

Chris Bosh comes to mind.

Speaking of Bosh...it's funny that Gil is "me first" when he does he stupid videos to get in the All-Star game...

Jamison is soft because he jacks jumpers...

but Bosh does both and everybody wants him?
Eh.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Webber was a hugely talented player, maybe the most talented big man of his generation. He was also soft and prone to choke in the clutch.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 20, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Webber was a hugely talented player, maybe the most talented big man of his generation. He was also soft and prone to choke in the clutch.

Agreed. He had all the talent in the world. Can't buy heart though.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 20, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

If Flip has a plan in mind for actually coaching Randy Foye into becoming the best player he can be, then chastising him occasionally is just part of the deal, I'd assume. But so far, Flip hasn't convinced me that coaching players is what he does. I hope I'm dead wrong about that, but way he uses, or doesn't use, Blatche, Young, McGhee, etc, makes me wonder.

Posted by: clfrdj | January 20, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Webber was cursed with a nice smile. You flash that grin and most people forgive you and like you...except your opponents.

Posted by: Blurred | January 20, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Webber was the type of player you could build your franchise around maybe win a championship, so long as Tim Donaughy wasn't reffing.

Posted by: divi3 | January 20, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

and agreed 100% about Bosh, not sure why so many people here think he's the guy we need

Posted by: divi3 | January 20, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"He was also soft..."

If only he could have been paired with a rugged, freak of nature type enforcer. Maybe a Ben Wallace type, boy would that have been something

Posted by: divi3 | January 20, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

DJNNOU: Yeah there's a lot of that going around(GM's trying to save their job)a bunch of know-nothing's trying to pass themselves off as basketball's version of a savant when in fact they are nothing but idiot's we got one right here(EG), can't wait until they "FIRE" his azz.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 20, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"If only he could have been paired with a rugged, freak of nature type enforcer. "

Then he would have looked even softer by comparison.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 20, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

whoever said Jamison is Webber don't know basketball. Both were good rebounders and scorers. That's about it though. Neither were good defenders but Webber was a lil better because he was strong enough to defend the post where as Jamison is not. Webber was also a decent shotblocker.

Jamison shoots free throws much better and I think that was a major factor in Webber not playing well down the stretch. He did not want to get fouled and have to go to the line.

Here is the major difference. Jamison is a black-hole. Webber is not. You CAN NOT run an offense thru Jamison. Sacramento proved you could run one thru Webber. Webber was the best passing big man of his generation at least, one of the best of all time. He had great court awareness and ballhandler as well.

Posted by: G-Man11 | January 21, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

I have NO idea why Webber is being discussed, but since he is..... Webber was awesome. He was LeBron plus 3 inches and 20 lbs, but minus the three pointers. The comparison to Jamison is absurd. They may be in the same ballpark for points and rebounds, but try blocks (Webber probably had twice as many in one year as AJ in his whole career), and assists (same). Webber's only issue was he had Ralph Sampson disease, which is really not that bad a thing. He saw himself as Magic but all his coaches wanted him to be Shaq. So, he never developed a clear, reliable playing personality. Also, like KG and every other big man, he needed someone who could create shots for the last minute of every game. That's why he didn't win it all. And no Peja doesn't count. Now, Gilbert and Webber together in their primes? That would have been the perfect balance and would have done some serious damage. If, of course, it didn't implode with the 3 G's: goofiness, guns, and ganja.

Posted by: Urnesto | January 21, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

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