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Coy drops basketball

Now I can cease my efforts to track down Ryan Minor. I wanted to talk to the former Oklahoma two-sport star about that life in college. However, Wichita State’s Johnny Coy is a  baseball guy after a meeting Wednesday with basketball coach Gregg Marshall. Coy quit the basketball team.

I thought Coy’s two-sport attempt would last a least a year before juggling  became too much of a burden. Instead, it took just a few weeks of looking at a schedule that included afternoon practices for both sports. Afternoon is the natural time for both sports to practice, so the conflict wasn’t going to go away."I felt like I was forced to choose one," Coy said. "It's just been too difficult."It didn’t help matters that Coy has been sick and hasn’t done much with either sport since school started. Tuesday was his first day with baseball’s “senior-led” practices. He struggled through one basketball workout. It also didn’t help that he played baseball this summer in St. Joseph while his basketball teammates were in Wichita.

In the end, he is probably making the wise choice. Philadelphia saw enough raw power and speed to draft him in the seventh round in 2008. He could reasonably be expected to improve that with a few seasons at WSU playing third or first base. He is draft eligible this spring because of his birthday.

How much of a loss to the basketball team is this? Coy could have helped WSU down the road. He can shoot and could have grown into a tough matchup for big forwards. He is athletic enough to play in the MVC. Coaches were not sure if he was physical enough to play power forward or quick enough to play small forward. However, he was always going to be behind to some degree as long as he played baseball. As a full-time basketball player, I could see him growing into a valuable reserve and, perhaps, a starter later in his career. Hard to tell, but I don’t think that is out of line.

As a part-timer, his value decreases. Last season, it took him about a month or so to get his legs and get in the groove with his teammates after he transferred from Arizona State.  Certainly, his role this season would have been off the bench. WSU’s frontcourt depth is solid enough that losing Coy is not a killer. The loss is what he could have become as a fourth-year junior or fifth-year senior. That potential is something baseball was always going to limit.

More in Thursday’s paper and at Kansas.com.

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