Canisius College junior Billy Baron has been named CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Most Valuable Player for the 2012-13 season, CollegeInsider.com announced today. Baron helped lead the Golden Griffins to a 20-14 overall record and an 11-7 mark in MAAC play in his first season with Canisius, which ended with the program’s first postseason appearance in 17 years.
A native of East Greenwich, R.I., Baron led the team with 17.2 points per game, and his 5.0 assists per game ranked first in the MAAC and 62nd in the country. He shot 43.9 percent from the field, 38.2 percent from 3-point range and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line and he was also good for 4.1 rebounds per contest. An All-MAAC First-Team honoree, the 6-foot-2 guard scored a total of 584 points, the most for a Canisius player in the last 28 years. He posted a career-high 33 points in the team’s win at Niagara Feb. 10, to help the Blue and Gold end their nine-game road losing streak to their long-time rival, and he is the first Griff to score 30 or more points in a game three times in the same season since Ray Hall did that in 1984-85.
Baron ended the season ranked among the top-10 in the MAAC in seven different statistical categories, including scoring (third), assists (first), free-throw percentage (fifth), 3-point field goal percentage (eighth), 3-point field goals made per game (ninth), assists-to-turnover ratio (third) and minutes played (10th). A team captain in his first season at Canisius, Baron played in all 34 games and made 33 starts.
Canisius’ 20 wins in 2012-13 are the most for the team since 2000-01, and it marks the seventh 20-win campaign in school history. The Griffs won 11 league games for the first time since 1998-99 and the team earned a berth into the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, where the Blue and Gold advanced to the quarterfinal round. The team will return three starters and six letterwinners to next year’s roster.