Canisius senior Billy Baron is one of 24 Division I point guards to be named a finalist for the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today. Baron is one of five players from a mid-major program to make it from the Cousy Award Watch List to being named a finalist. Named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, the annual honor recognizes the top point guards in men’s college basketball. The original watch list of 80 candidates was narrowed down to the below list of 24 by a nationally based committee.
“The 24 athletes on this list represent the most committed, determined and skillful point guards in college basketball,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We are honored to be recognizing their strengths and are excited to move forward in the selection process.”
“The men on this list all have the athletic qualities of an exceptional true point guard in the game of college basketball, the same qualities that made Mr. Cousy an iconic player,” said Ken Kaufman, Chair of the Bob Cousy Award and former president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). “All of these young men are on this list because they deserve to be competing for this well-respected award.”
Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 18 through Monday, March 10, fans from around the country will have the chance to vote for the top point guard in college basketball – fan voting is available through www.cousyaward.com. The current listing of 24 finalists for the 2014 Bob Cousy Award will be narrowed down to five players by early March. The final five players in contention for the award will be presented to Mr. Cousy and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The Hall of Fame committee is made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Hall of Famers and Sports Information Directors. The winner of the 2014 Bob Cousy Award will be presented at the Hall of Fame’s Class Announcement on Championship Monday in North Texas as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.
Baron currently ranks third in the nation in scoring average at 24.6 points per game. He’s averaging 5.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game for the Griffs, and on Monday, he was named the Lute Olson Award National Player of the Week by CollegeInsider.com and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week. That marks the second time in the last four weeks that the East Greenwich, R.I., native has received both the Lute Olson Award National Player of the Week honors and MAAC Player of the Week recognition in the same week. Baron averaged 37.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists last week in wins at Niagara and Siena, highlighted by his career-high 40-point effort in the Blue and Gold’s three-overtime win at Siena Feb. 16.The Griffs are currently 18-9 overall record and a 12-4 mark in MAAC play. Canisius, which is tied for second in the MAAC standings with Manhattan and Quinnipiac, will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 20, at home when the team plays host to Quinnipiac. Game time in the Koessler Athletic Center is set for 7 p.m.