SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz guard Randy Foye entered the 2012-13 season with expectations already placed on his shoulders.
“I had the pressure on me from the beginning,” he said at locker cleanout at EnergySolutions Arena on Thursday afternoon.
“I had the pressure put on me early on saying, ‘We need you to come here and help us become a better 3-point shooting team.’”
After shooting just 29.3 percent from 3-point range a season ago, the Jazz expected Foye to hit 3s — and he did.
The seven-year veteran both made and attempted the most shots from long range since the 1979-80 season. He hit 178 of 434 attempts for a season average of 41.0 percent.
“I’m not just a 3-point shooter, but that’s one of my strengths,” said Foye. “I felt as though that’s what (the Jazz) needed, and I tried to help them get there.”
Foye’s was the best performance by a Jazz player, besting Mehmet Okur, who hit 129 3s in the 2006-07 season, and C.J. Miles, who took 339 3s in the 2010-11 season. Okur attempted 336 3-point shots for 38.4 percent and Miles made 109 for 32.2 percent.
“He was huge for us all year,” head coach Ty Corbin said of Foye on Thursday. “He played all 82 games for us. (He’s) ready to go every night, and ready and willing to do whatever he can do to help us win.”
Upon Foye’s shoulders, the entire Jazz team set a franchise record for the most 3-point attempts and makes, shooting 36.6 percent with 507 made shots on 1,385 attempts.
Gordon Hayward and Mo Williams also played crucial roles in the fantastic season beyond the 3-point line. The former shot 41.5 percent (336 of 773) and the latter shot 38.3 percent (54 of 166).
“When Al (Jefferson) was rolling and Paul (Millsap) was rolling and (opposing defenses) would double-team them, they’d do a good job of finding us,” Hayward said of what opened up the outside shots.
“I thought as a team we shot the ball really well, especially from last year,” added Williams. “That was a focal point, and I thought we succeeded. I think Foye gets a lot of credit for that.”
Looking forward, it is important to keep in mind that Foye is one of eight free agents on the Utah Jazz roster.
Former Jazz swingman Kyle Korver shot 38.6 percent from beyond the 3-point line on 103-for-267 shooting in the 2008-09 season. Korver currently plays for Atlanta but will also become a free agent this summer. He has expressed interest in possibly returning to Utah.
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org