Canisius junior Billy Baron has been named as one of 25 finalists for the 2013 Lou Henson Award, presented annually to the top mid-major player in the country by CollegeInsider.com. Baron is the first Canisius player to ever be named a finalist for this award and he is one of three finalists for this year's award from a MAAC school, joining with Iona's Lamont Jones and Niagara's Juan'ya Green.
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 from coaching after 41 years. When he left the game in 2005, he was sixth all-time in career Division I wins (779) and he holds the honor of being the winningest coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State. He is one of 12 coaches in the history of the college game to take two different schools to the NCAA Final Four.
Baron leads Canisius and ranks sixth in the MAAC in scoring average with his 16.5 points per game. The MAAC's leader in assists per game with 5.1, the junior from Greenwich, R.I., was named the Lou Henson Award Player of the Week earlier this season after he averaged 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game in two MAAC wins at Fairfield and Marist. Canisius' first two-time MAAC Player of the Week since 2000-01, Baron has scored in double figures 22 times this season, has had three double-doubles with points and assists and he scored a career-high 33 points in the team's 77-70 win at Niagara Feb. 10, that snapped the Griffs' 10-game road losing streak to their long-time rivals. His 33 points in that game are the most for a Canisius player on the road since the 1994-95 campaign, and he is the first player since former Griff Ray Hall in 1984-85 to score 30-or more points in multiple games in the same season.
For the second-straight year, CollegeInsider.com is working with Point3 Basketball to help promote the Lou Henson Award "fan vote". Fans are encouraged to vote online for their choice, and the final fan tally will constitute 33 percent of the final voting numbers on this year's award. For more information or to vote online, fans are encouraged to click here. The 2013 Lou Henson Award will be officially presented at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet, which will be held in Atlanta during the weekend of the Final Four.Canisius will close out the 2012-13 regular season this weekend when the Griffs play host to Saint Peter's and Rider in the Koessler Athletic Center. The team's final two-game home set starts Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m., when the Blue and Gold hosts Saint Peter's. That game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.