Jimmy Baron to Knicks Summer League; won’t play against Billy

By Nick Veronica

Jimmy Baron

Jimmy Baron

Jimmy Baron was named to the New York Knicks’ Summer League squad this week, but he won’t get to play against Billy’s Detroit Pistons.

Jimmy, the oldest son of Canisius coach Jim Baron, will head to the Las Vegas portion of NBA Summer League next week. Billy’s Pistons have been playing this week in Orlando.

Billy Baron has played in one of the Pistons’ three games so far, scoring eight points.

Billy’s Pistons schedule


Saturday, July 4
vs. Orlando (White) – L 87-76, 8 points on 2 of 8 shooting, 2 of 7 on 3-pointers, 1 assist, 3 rebounds, 12:43
Sunday, July 5 vs. L.A. Clippers – W 77-69, did not play
Monday, July 6 vs. Miami – L 78-73, did not play
Wednesday, July 8 vs. Indiana
Friday, July 10, Playoff TBD

Jimmy’s Knicks Schedule


Saturday, July 11
vs. San Antonio, 1:30 p.m.
Monday, July 13 vs. L.A. Lakers, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 14 vs. Philadelphia, 2:30 p.m.
July 15-20, Playoffs TBD

UB saw big attendance gain in 2014-15, but Bonnies still top draw

By Nick Veronica

UB saw the largest increase in average men’s basketball attendance of any local Division I team in 2014-15, drawing an extra 150 fans per home game as it earned a share of the MAC’s regular season title.

That’s according to the NCAA’s official attendance figures, which were released Monday.

St. Bonaventure led the Big 4 in home attendance again, drawing an average of 3,889 to the Reilly Center, but saw its lead shrink as UB gained and the Bonnies lost nearly 40 fans per game from 2013-14.

2014-15 Big 4 home attendance

2015mbbattendance

Niagara saw the biggest drop in average attendance, losing 360 fans per night as the team won just four of its first 25 games. Canisius lost an average of 78 fans per game after MAAC MVP Billy Baron graduated.

Update: Niagara’s attendance numbers seem to have omitted the Big 4 Classic game against St. Bonaventure at First Niagara Center — attended by 7,191 fans — where Niagara was the home team. Had Niagara counted that game, its home attendance would’ve jumped to 1,502, an increase of almost 50 fans per game from 2013-14. Judging by number of reported home games, Canisius’ numbers do include its Big 4 Classic game against UB, and UB counted its FNC game in 2013-14. Niagara did not count its FNC game against Davidson in 2013-14, either.

Syracuse led the NCAA in attendance, drawing 26,253 a night, while North Carolina State saw the largest gain, drawing 2,795 more fans per game than in 2013-14.

The Atlantic 10 was 10th in attendance by conference, with an average of 5,107 fans at each home event. UB’s Mid-American Conference was 13th at 2,885 while the MAAC was 21st at 2,130. The MAC and MAAC each gained one place from the 2013-14 rankings while the A-10 remained in 10th.

Arizona State, where Bobby Hurley now coaches, drew 5,985 fans per game last season, which was good for 89th nationally.

MAAC rearranges tournament schedule to help top seeds

By Nick Veronica

maaclogoThe men’s and women’s MAAC basketball tournaments will feature a slightly different format in 2016, giving the top two seeds an added day of rest between the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.

The quarterfinals will now open Friday for teams seeded first and second, which gives them Saturday off before the semifinals on Sunday, assuming they win. Teams seeded third and fourth have Friday off but will have to win Saturday and Sunday to advance to Monday’s final.

The previous format had play-in games on Thursday, with the quarterfinal round opening for everyone Saturday. Here’s a look at the games that will be affected, using last year’s bracket. (The times of the games will change; full schedule below.)

new_maac_tournament_bracket

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Niagara names Jada Pierce women’s basketball coach

By Nick Veronica

Pierce

Pierce

Niagara announced the hiring of women’s basketball coach Jada Pierce on Tuesday, replacing eight-year veteran Kendra Faustin, who left in early June for the same position at Division II Ferris State.

Pierce comes to NU from Atlantic 10 member St. Joseph’s, where she was an assistant coach. Pierce has 18 years of coaching experience, including head coaching experience at the Division II level, but this will be her first D-I head coaching job.

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Griffs add point guard Atkinson to compete roster

By Nick Veronica

Canisius got a verbal commitment from point guard Chris Atkinson Tuesday night, filling the Griffs’ final scholarship opening that was created by Jan Grzelinski’s departure.

Atkinson

Atkinson

Atkinson played point guard for Long Island Lutheran, which was the New York State Sportswriters Associations’ top-ranked team on Long Island and 14th-ranked team statewide in Class AA.

Atkinson (5-foot-9, 160 pounds) was not rated by Rivals but is listed as having offers from Iona and Northeasten.

Atkinson gave a verbal commit to MAAC foe Monmouth in October, but apparently became decommitted at some point between then and now. A verbal commitment is non-binding and is not “official” until the athlete signs a Letter of Intent.

(Atkinson’s Twitter name is Michael Scofield, a character from the show Prison Break)

I expected Jim Baron to target a forward with his final opening, but Atkinson’s commit gives Canisius the same numbers it had last season: five forwards, eight guards.

Canisius roster (*new for 2015-16):

Guards (8)

Malcolm McMillan*, redshirt senior
Jamal Reynolds, senior
Kiefer Douse*, junior
Kassius Robertson, sophomore
Adam Weir, sophomore
Raven Owen, redshirt freshman
Isaiah Gurley, redshirt freshman
Chris Atkinson*, freshman

Forwards (5)

Kevin Bleeker, senior
Phil Valenti, junior
Jermaine Crumpton, sophomore
Cassidy Ryan, sophomore
Ronald Gombe*, freshman