Canisius College senior guard Billy Baron highlights the 2013-14 Preseason All-Big 4 Basketball Teams, which were announced Monday morning at the Big 4 Basketball Media Day at First Niagara Center. Baron and fellow senior Chris Manhertz were named to the Preseason All-Big 4 First Team, while senior center Jordan Heath was named to the Preseason All-Big 4 Second Team. The Preseason All-Big 4 Teams were voted on by media and athletic communications staffs that cover Buffalo, Canisius, Niagara and St. Bonaventure.
Baron helped lead Canisius to its first 20-win campaign since 2000-01 last year after the Golden Griffins posted a 20-14 overall record and an 11-7 mark in MAAC play. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound guard averaged 17.2 points per game, which ranked third in the MAAC and his 5.0 assists per game led the league and ranked among the top-75 in the nation. He was the first Griff in more than 25 seasons to score 30-or more points in three different games, highlighted by his career-high 33-point effort at Niagara. He has been recognized as the 2013-14 MAAC Preseason Player of the Year in five different publications this fall, and last week, he was named to the Preseason All-MAAC First Team, Canisius’ first preseason all-league first team honoree since 2000-01.
Manhertz was also named to the Preseason All-Big 4 First Team after he led the Griffs in rebounding average last season with 8.7 boards per game. The Bronx, N.Y., native starts this year as the MAAC’s top returning rebounder and he also added 7.6 points per game to Canisius’ scoring effort a season ago. A 2013-14 Preseason All-MAAC Third Team choice, Manhertz enters his senior year ranked 18th in school history with 574 career rebounds.
Joining Baron and Manhertz on the All-Big 4 First Team are Buffalo’s Javon McCrea and Will Regan and Niagara’s Antoine Mason. Baron, McCrea and Mason were unanimous first-team selections.
Heath earned Preseason All-Big 4 Second Team honors after he averaged 9.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last year, his first season in a Canisius uniform. The Rochester, N.Y., native led the Griffs by shooting 53.2 percent from the field and his 1.7 blocks per game ranked third in the MAAC. Heath was joined on the Preseason All-Big 4 Second Team by Buffalo’s Jarod Oldham, Niagara’s Marvin Jordan and St. Bonaventure’s Matthew Wright and Youssou Ndoye.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.