It's going to be no easy task replacing Matthew Dellavedova at St. Mary's. But it just got a tiny bit easier when head coach Randy Bennett confirmed at the end-of-season basketball banquet that senior Paul McCoy has been granted a 6th year of eligibility.
McCoy was a star football and basketball player at Grant High School in Portland, Oregon, and he ultimately committed to play basketball for Pepperdine. But the coach resigned, leaving McCoy to look elsewhere. Fellow Grant alumnus June Jones pitched him to SMU, where he signed.
At SMU he immediately starred. He averaged 13.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.6 steals.
As a sophomore the scoring became spread out and McCoy was averaging right around eight points a game before his injury. Driving to the basket his knee gave way without contact, and his year was done. He had surgery to repair his torn ACL, but due to difficulties with head coach Matt Doherty and staff, McCoy decided to transfer.
He wound up in the Bay Area playing for Saint Mary's. His explosive ability was to be paired with Matthew Dellavedova's steady play at point, and he sat out a season following the transfer, and practiced with the team. But when the time came, it wasn't to be. McCoy blew out the same knee in just the second practice of the season and missed the entire year once he was eligible. He ended up having four surgeries, and missed the majority of this year as well. From February 2, 2010, to January 18, 2013, McCoy never appeared in a college game.
He was able to play a few minutes late this season, but he clearly wasn't ready for big time Division I basketball.
Now though, the NCAA has done the right thing and awarded him another year. He may not make his dream of playing in the NBA, but he'll have an undergraduate and graduate degree paid for. And who knows, if he stays healthy, it might make the post-Delly transition a little bit easier.