Foye, Collins feel the home cooking
By TOM MOORE
PHILADELPHIA — Randy Foye and Mardy Collins insist they would love to become 76ers.
Both four-year college players think they'd be good fits in Philadelphia, where they would help with their versatility, basketball knowledge and skills.
The Sixers claimed to be thrilled with what they observed of the former Villanova and Temple stars, both on and off the court, following Saturday's workout at PCOM.
“To see the guys compete up close is very impressive,” said team president Billy King.
King is trying to move up from the 13th position in the June 28 draft. He might not have an opportunity to land Foye if he stays at 13. Numerous mock drafts project Foye, a 6-4 guard, as either going fifth to the Hawks or seventh to the Celtics.
“Until my name is called, I can't really think about being top 10 or even a top 20 pick,” Foye said. “I just have to keep on coming to these workouts, grinding them out, being the best person I can be and the best basketball player I can be.”
King cited how most mock drafts had Andre Iguodala as the No. 6 selection in 2004, only for him fall into their laps at No. 9, and pointed out that Paul Pierce surprisingly slipped down to No. 9 in 1997, when the Sixers inexplicably passed on him in favor of Larry Hughes.
“You never know,” King said. “As you get going, some people start lobbying, some people fall in love with a guy, so guys can go all over the place.”
As for Collins, a 6-6 guard, he's likely to be available at No. 13.
“It's my hometown,” said Collins, a graduate of Simon Gratz High, alma mater of Aaron McKie and Rasheed Wallace. “I'd love to stay here. It'd be great. It'd definitely be a dream to play here.”
King appreciated the emphasis Foye and Collins, who have worked out for seven and eight NBA teams, respectively, placed on defense in their workouts and ensuing discussions.
“One of them said, "I think I can help Andre with the perimeter defensive players.' ” King said. “One of them said, "I can guard point guards, players up to 6-7.' It's amazing.”
For Foye and Collins, that could mean point or shooting guard in the NBA, depending on what team calls their names. That's just fine with them.
At Villanova, Foye averaged 20.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and hit plenty of big shots in earning first-team All-America honors for the Wildcats. He sometimes defended opposing power forwards in Jay Wright's four-guard offense, which Foye thinks will serve him well in the pros.
“When I'm going against a guy who's 6-6 and he tries to back me down, I know they feel the strength when they try to bang against me and I don't budge,” he said.
Collins, who was forced to handle the bulk of the offensive load at Temple, led the Owls in scoring (16.8), assists (4.0) and steals (2.8) last season.
“It'll definitely be a lot easier [with more scorers in the NBA],” Collins said. “It'll take a lot of attention off me. I can just get guys involved and then when they start to get it going, I can get my offense going a little bit.”
Sixers to look at Duke players
Among the players King, a Duke graduate, plans to bring to Philadelphia prior to the draft are Duke teammates J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams. Both are projected as middle first-rounders.
Free agent workouts
King said the Sixers worked out free agents Marcus Haislip and Chris Antsey earlier Saturday.
The 25-year-old Haislip, listed as 6-foot-10, spent two-plus years with the Bucks and part of 2004-05 with the Pacers before playing in Turkey last season.
In addition, the Sixers are planning to work out former Duke/Bulls guard Jay Williams, who is trying to come back after suffering serious injuries in a motorcycle accident three years ago, on June 19.
Tom Moore can be reached at 215-345-3070 or tmoore@phillyBurbs.com
June 4, 2006 9:55 AM