Billy Baron in the NBA? That’s what Siena coach Jimmy Patsos had to say after Canisius’ 93-78 win in the Koessler Athletic Center.
“I told these guys Baron’s a great player. Baron’s got a chance to play in the league,” Patsos said. “Baron has a chance to play in the NBA. I think Billy Baron could be a backup point guard in the NBA because he really knows how to play.”
Baron had a career-high 13 assists and led all players with 21 points. Patsos heaped on more praise when discussing the defensive dilemma Baron presented because he was just as willing to pass the ball as he was to take it to the hoop.
Billy Baron and his teammates talk to the media after Canisius’ 93-78 victory at the KAC. From left to right: Chris Perez, Zach Lewis, Dominique Raney and, to quote Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Matt Reitnour, Billy Baron dressed as Tom Brady.
More on this game:
What it means: Canisius stayed perfect through the first weekend of MAAC play. The Griffs jumped out to a huge lead with hot shooting and led by as many as 28 in the second half before Siena closed the gap as Canisius’ defense relaxed. Victory was rarely in doubt.
Secondary scoring? You bet. Billy Baron led the way with 21 but secondary scoring came from high and low Sunday. Dominique Raney had 19 and Zach Lewis had 18. Canisius made 15 three-pointers. Siena made one.
Rebounding: Siena had the edge in rebounds, 35-30, but you wouldn’t have known without looking at the stats.
MAAC attack: Canisius swept its opening weekend of conference games for the second consecutive season. Canisius’ next conference game is Jan. 4 at Saint Peter’s.
800 club: The game was Jim Baron’s 800th a head coach. The win improved his record to 414-386.
Stats that were good: Billy Baron had 13 assists … the Griffs were 15 of 26 from behind the arc (57.7 percent) … Raney made 6 of 7 field goals … Canisius had 24 assists on 31 field goals.
Stats that were bad: Siena outscored Canisius 42-36 in the second half … Chris Manhertz fouled out.
Notes: The last time Canisius scored 100 points, if you’re curious, was Feb. 16, 2005 in a 113-101 overtime loss to Niagara.
Next game: Canisius plays UB Wednesday at the First Niagara Center. Niagara and Davidson tip off at 6 p.m. with Canisius-UB to follow at about 8 p.m.
FINAL: Canisius 93, Siena 78.
Immediate reactions | Postgame video | Patsos: Baron could play in NBA
1:06: Patsos given a technical for swatting the ball while it was still in play. 89-76.
1:12: Siena’s Bisping is down, looks like he got hit in the eye by his own guy.
2:03: Baron hits a three to raise the cushion to 14 points.
3:44: Jordan Heath grabs the rebound on Raney’s second free throw and Valenti finishes it to make it 84-71.
4:05: Baron misses a floater but Heath pulls down the rebound. Raney ends up on the line and hits one to protect the double-digit lead. 82-71.
4:51: Manhertz fouls out. 81-71.
I’m back at the KAC today for Canisius basketball against Siena in what will be Jim Baron’s 800th game as a head coach — he enters today 413-386 and 24-17 with the Griffs.
Last time out: Canisius (4-3) and Siena (3-7) are both 1-0 in the MAAC. Canisius beat Saint Peter’s 82-67 on Friday behind a career-high 28 points from Jordan Heath while Siena won at Niagara, 84-71.
About Siena: Guard Rob Poole leads the team in scoring at 14.9 points per game. You may also be familiar with guard Evan Hymes, who also averages more than 10 ppg. The Saints are led by coach Jimmy Patsos, who led Loyola to a MAAC title in 2012 but came over when Siena fired Mitch Buonaguro after last season.
Series history: Siena has won 14 of the last 16 meetings, but was also a league powerhouse during most of that time. The Saints split the season series last year, with the Griffs winning their most recent meeting, 76-44 at the KAC.
Noteworthy: Billy Baron was held to 9 points Friday night. It was just the fifth time in his Canisius career he scored fewer than 10 points, but oddly enough, Canisius is 4-1 in those games.
A live blog will be up about 10 minutes before tip. You can also follow along on Twitter @NickVeronica.