In the midst of the hoopla surrounding the media-created two-man
competition for college basketball player of the year, it has been hard
for anyone to even utter another name alongside Duke's J. J. Redick and
Gonzaga's Adam Morrison. But before the college basketball world
eliminates everyone but the two great white hopes from consideration, dare
I suggest a third player (gasp!) who might be worth a look.
the rock-solid 6'4" combo guard on the nation's third-ranked Villanova
Wildcats, has been nothing short of spectacular in leading his team to a
10-1 mark through eleven games. Foye is the centerpiece of an uptempo
guard-oriented offense that has trailed in the second half of one game all
season, this past Sunday's close lose to West Virginia. While +40-point
performances against ranked-teams - Redick against Texas, and Morrison
against Michigan State and Washington - have grabbed more headlines and
SportsCenter airtime for the two frontrunners, the remarkably productive
and well-rounded efforts of Foye have been just as impressive in my
While he may lack the panache (and trashy 'stache) of Morrison, or the
moxie of Redick, he does not lack the numbers of his more publicized
counterparts. He isn't quite the scorer, at 21.0 points per game, as is
Morrison (27.8 ppg) or Redick (25.3 ppg), but his rebounding (5.6 per
game, compared to 6.1 for Morrison, and 1.7 for Reddick), assists (3.8 per
game, compared to 1.9 for Morrison, and 2.2 for Reddick), and three-point
proficiency (2.8 makes per game, compared to 1.8 for Morrison, and 3.7 for
Reddick) all stack up favorably. Additionally, Villanova Coach Jay Wright
touts Foye as his team's best defender, a claim both Coaches Krzyzewski at
Duke and Few at Gonzaga would be hard-pressed to stake about their
Not unlike Morrison and Reddick, Foye shines brightest in big games.
Last year, as Villanova proved the toughest obstacle in the NCAA
tournament for eventual national champion North Carolina, Foye scored a
then-career-high 28 points being guarded by the likes of current NBA
guards Raymond Felton and Rashad McCants in the Wildcats' one-point loss.
This season, against then-fifth-ranked Oklahoma, he dropped a career-high
32 points on 14-of-21 shooting in delivering the Sooners their first
defeat. In last week's big conference road victory, he had 24 points and
9 rebounds at ninth-ranked Louisville.
Also, Foye, more effectively than either Morrison or Redick, contributes
in other ways on the rare occasion when his shot is off. Last season, as
he made only 3 of 15 shots against St. Joseph's, but he harrassed
sharp-shooter Pat Carroll into a 4-of-19 shooting performance. This
season, as Foye struggled to a 4-of-13 shooting effort against Temple, he
contributed 10 rebounds and 9 assists.
While Villanova may not have played a pre-conference schedule as
difficult as those of Duke and Gonzaga, if Villanova's winning ways
continue throughout Big East play, and Foye continues on his current
track, don't be surprised if Randy Foye grabs the last headline.