Canisius College men’s basketball player Billy Baron was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week and the Lou Henson Award “Player of the Week”, it was announced on Monday. Baron helped lead the Golden Griffins to two road victories last week over MAAC rivals Fairfield and Marist, as Canisius improved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
Baron averaged 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game last week as the Blue and Gold improved to 2-0 in league play for the first time since 1997-98. The junior guard had 19 points and five rebounds in the Griffs’ win at Fairfield Dec. 7, a win that snapped the program’s nine-game losing streak to the Stags. At Marist Dec. 9, he posted his first career double-double as he scored 16 points to go with a career-high 11 assists. For the week, he shot 50 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range and 72.7 percent from the free-throw line. He has scored in double figures in all seven of Canisius’ games this season and his 6.0 assists per game average ranks first in the MAAC and 22nd nationally.
Baron also received Lou Henson Award “Player of the Week” Honors for his efforts last week, CollegeInsider.com announced Monday. The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the top Mid-Major player in Division I college basketball. The award is named in honor of Lou Henson, who retired after a spectacular coaching career that lasted 41 years. When he left the game in 2005, he was sixth all-time in career Division I wins with 779. He is the winningest coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State. He is one of only 12 coaches in the history of the game to take two schools to the Final Four. Baron is the second MAAC player to receive this weekly honor this season, as Iona’s Lamont Jones was also recognized for his play the week of Nov. 19.
Canisius is off to its best start since the 1973-74 campaign, when the Blue and Gold also opened the year with a 6-1 mark. In Sunday’s win over Marist, the Griffs drained a school-record 17 3-point field goals en route to a 94-82 win, with the 94 points standing as the team’s best scoring output in a MAAC game since Feb. 16, 2005 when Canisius posted 101 points on the scoreboard in an overtime loss to Niagara. The Griffs will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 15, when the team plays at nationally-ranked Syracuse in the Gotham Classic. Tipoff in the Carrier Dome is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on the Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.