Canisius College senior guard Billy Baron is one of 22 Division I men’s basketball players to be named to the 2013-14 Lute Olson Preseason All-America Team, CollegeInsider.com announced today. Baron is the only player from the MAAC to receive this honor and he is one of six players on the list to play at a mid-major school.
The Lute Olson Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I player who has played at least two seasons with his respective team. Freshmen and first-year transfers can be named to the All-America team, but are not eligible to receive the Player of the Year honors.
The award is named in honor of coaching great Lute Olson, who won 780 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. During that stretch, he led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1997.
Baron led Canisius in scoring average last season after he scored 17.2 points per game, which ranked third in the MAAC. His 584 total points in 2012-13 were the most for a Griff in the last 28 years, and he also led the conference in assists per game with 5.0 per outing. He scored 30 or more points in three games, and his career-high 33 points at Niagara Feb. 10 helped the Blue and Gold snap their nine-game losing streak in the Gallagher Center. Already this fall, Baron has been recognized as the 2013-14 Preseason MAAC Player of the Year by Sporting News and the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year by Lindy’s Sports.Canisius will officially open the 110th season in program history Monday, Nov. 11, when the Blue and Gold plays host to South Dakota in the Koessler Athletic Center. Game time for that contest is set for 7 p.m. Season tickets for the 26-game men’s and women’s home slate are now on sale through the Canisius Ticket Office by calling 716-888-2885 between from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.