Foust does his best Barkley routine

Thursday, January 3, 2008
Southeast Missouri State's Brandon Foust slam dunked over Eastern Kentucky's Justin Stommes during the second half Wednesday at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Retro shorts inspire the Redhawks senior to hit the boards.

Brandon Foust said Southeast basketball coach Scott Edgar took to calling the senior forward Charles Barkley lately.

Foust took the nickname to a new level during the Redhawks' 66-55 Ohio Valley Conference victory against Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday at the Show Me Center.

Foust sported a pair of snug shorts, better known to NBA fans of the 1980s as short shorts, and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds in the win.

"Coach has been calling me a Charles Barkley," Foust said. "That's why I had on the short shorts in the first half. That's basically what I was trying to play like, just get every rebound that came off the rim."

Edgar laughed when he discussed Foust's first-half attire.

"The last couple days in practice, he's looking like Steve Urkel with his pants up so high," Edgar said. "I said, 'What are you doing?' He said, 'That's how we're going to wear our shorts.'

"I talked to our student coach who kind of takes cares of uniforms. He said, 'Coach, he usually wears XXXL. He's wearing XL tonight.' If he can get 10 rebounds a game, I don't care what size he wears."

Foust started his first OVC game of the season after coming off the bench in 11 of the Redhawks' first 14 games. He said Edgar approached him Tuesday about returning to the starting lineup.

"Coach asked me [Tuesday] if I wanted to start, and I told him I didn't mind because I've been playing pretty good," Foust said.

It was a long road back into the starting lineup for Foust. He almost wasn't allowed back on the team after an altercation in a campus dormitory in October. But the university judicial process determined that Foust would be allowed to continue as a student at Southeast, and Edgar allowed him back on the team.

Foust, a transfer from Oklahoma, has worked to get back into Edgar's good graces, and his play on the court has helped. He recorded a double-double in the two games before Wednesday's contest, and finished two points shy of a third straight double-double. Edgar said he knew it was time to insert Foust into the starting lineup.

"If you remember how it all evolved, he had some challenges in the first week or so of practice," Edgar said. "He was playing well coming off the bench, and I talked to him once, and I said how do you feel about starting. He said coach, I'm playing good coming off the bench.

"Lately he's been playing real good, and Calvin [Williams] wasn't getting his numbers. I said to Brandon, 'How do you feel about starting?' He said, 'Coach, I think I'm ready to start.'"

Foust started 28 of the Redhawks' 31 games last season, but he said he felt more comfortable as a bench player earlier this season. He didn't become frustrated by not starting because he said he thought it was the right decision.

"It's being a leader, and coach asked me if I wanted to start, and I basically told him I really didn't want to because I didn't think I was playing to my full potential at first," Foust said. "But now I think I'm ready to start. When he asked me, I was ready to step up to the challenge."

Foust has averaged a double-double over his last three games, with 13 points and 11 boards a game. That's what Edgar expects from his senior.

"If he can get doubles every night, that means he's going to be aggressive," Edgar said. "When he's aggressive, he's as good as anybody in this league. He can get double-figure rebounds, he's probably going to get double-figure points."

And after another strong game Wednesday, does that mean he's going to ignore comfort and stick with the short shorts for added motivation?

"That's why I switched them at halftime," he said, without ruling out wearing them again.

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