Skip to content

In a wide-open MAAC an unexpected challenger emerged this weekend

Dec 9, 2012, 5:11 PM EDT

baron

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is expected to have a wide-open race for its automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Teams such as defending tournament champion Loyola (MD), Manhattan and Fairfield return key players from last season and there’s also the question of whether or not Iona’s talented newcomers can mesh in time to impact the league race.

But it a conference many felt had as many as six teams capable of winning the conference, a team few discussed in the offseason sits atop the standings with a 2-0 conference record after this weekend.

Canisius, bolstered by the arrival of head coach Jim Baron and son Billy, is now 6-1 on the season after their 94-82 win over Marist on Sunday afternoon. Harold Washington led the way with 25 points (6-of-11 3PT) and Baron added 16 points and 11 assists for the Golden Griffins, who pushed their win streak to three ahead of a game at No. 4 Syracuse next Saturday.

Canisius made 17 of their 36 three-pointers, assisted on 23 of their 30 field goals and out-rebounded Marist 47-29 (19 offensive rebounds).

With the win the Golden Griffins surpassed their win total from last season (five), when they won just five games before Tom Parrotta was relieved of his duties. Some of the names, such as Washington, Alshawn Hymes and Chris Manhertz (18 rebounds today), remain the same but Canisius is yielding far better results in 2012-13.

Offensively Jim Baron’s team was shooting 45.3% from the field entering Sunday’s tilt, an improvement of some five percentage points from last season, and they’re getting to the foul line at a much better clip than in 2011-12.

Adding Billy Baron, who averaged 13.0 points and 2.6 assists per game at Rhode Island last season, to the fold certainly helped Canisius in regards to turning things around. Baron’s currently averaging 18.0 points and 5.6 assists, leading the team in both categories.

And outside of allowing 82 points to the Red Foxes Canisius has improved on the defensive end as well, as they’re forcing more than 16 turnovers per game. As a result of the strides taken on both ends of the floor Canisius picked up road wins this weekend over Fairfield and Marist after going winless on the road in MAAC play last year.

The question now is whether or not the Golden Griffins can pick up where they left off when conference play resumes next month. Canisius has finished seventh or worse in the MAAC in four of the last five seasons, and given the number of teams capable of winning the conference the race will likely go down to the wire.

Nothing of consequence is won in December, but given recent history it’s safe to say that Canisius fans will relish this 2-0 start.

Photo credit: Canisius College

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Former George Mason forward Anali Okoloji headed to Eastern Michigan

    Apr 21, 2014, 12:09 AM EDT

    Anali Okoloji, Matt Thomas AP

    In need of some bodies in the front court, Eastern Michigan has reportedly added one in the form of George Mason transfer Anali Okoloji.

  2. 2015 shooting guard Camron Justice verbally commits to Vanderbilt

    Apr 20, 2014, 10:43 PM EDT

    Rob Cross, Kevin Stallings AP

    Late Sunday Vanderbilt landed its first commitment in the 2015 class, with shooting guard Camron Justice announcing his pledge via Twitter.

  3. USF loses two more as guards Javontae Hawkins, Musa Abdul-Aleem decide to transfer

    Apr 20, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT

    Michael Dixon, Jr., Javontae Hawkins AP

    USF lost two more players Saturday as guards Javontae Hawkins and Musa Abdul-Aleem decided to transfer.

  4. UConn guard Ryan Boatright still undecided on 2014 NBA Draft

    Apr 20, 2014, 8:03 PM EDT

    Ryan Boatright AP

    UConn guard Ryan Boatright is still weighing whether or not to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

  5. Marquette’s Davante Gardner named MVP of Portsmouth Invitational (VIDEO)

    Apr 20, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT

    Davante Gardner, Sandi Marcius AP

    The 62nd annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament wrapped up Saturday night, with former Marquette big man Davante Gardner winning MVP honors.

  6. Houston adds second junior college recruit in guard Eric Weary

    Apr 20, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwexmja4zju3njzknzg5mziznzyxotuyytg3otu5yjzj AP

    Houston landed a second junior college transfer Sunday, with Howard College product Eric Weary announcing his decision to commit to the program.

  7. Syracuse graduate assistant Nick Resavy at it again with trick shots (VIDEO)

    Apr 20, 2014, 4:07 PM EDT

    Syracuse Athletics Department Syracuse Athletics Department

    More than three years later, Nick Resavy is still making ridiculous shots.

  8. Aquille Carr has declared for the 2014 NBA Draft

    Apr 20, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The electrifying point guard has put his name into the NBA draft.

  9. Harrison twins awaiting feedback from NBA before deciding to return or declare

    Apr 20, 2014, 12:51 PM EDT

    AP AP

    The Harrison twins are halfway through deciding on returning to Lexington or declaring for the NBA draft.

  10. Alabama lands commitment from 2014 small forward Jeff Garrett

    Apr 20, 2014, 12:02 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Garrett becomes the fourth member of the Crimson Tide’s incoming class.

  11. Former NC State commit Torian Graham signs with Houston

    Apr 20, 2014, 11:17 AM EDT

    AP AP

    The Cougars landed a former top 100 recruit on Sunday morning.

  12. Report: Former Marshall guard Kareem Canty still weighing transfer options

    Apr 20, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Kareem Canty AP

    Just over a week after his appeal to be released from his scholarship at Marshall was granted, Kareem Canty’s decided to transfer to Auburn.

  13. Jordan Brand Classic highlights (VIDEO)

    Apr 20, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Watch the incoming class showcase their talents in Brooklyn on Friday night.

  14. Report: Louisiana Tech’s Michael White prime candidate for Tennessee vacancy

    Apr 20, 2014, 12:58 AM EDT

    Michael White AP

    According to a report, Louisiana Tech’s Michael White is the focus of Tennessee’s search for a new head coach.

  15. Kentucky fan follows through on promise to get tattoo honoring Willie Cauley-Stein

    Apr 19, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT

    NCAA Men's Final Four - Championship Getty Images

    A Kentucky fan promised to get a tattoo of Willie Cauley-Stein if the 7-footer returned to Lexington for his junior season. Saturday, Michael Gray followed through.

  16. 2014 shooting guard Patrick McCaw commits to UNLV

    Apr 19, 2014, 7:36 PM EDT

    Dave Rice AP

    UNLV has added another player to its 2014 recruiting class, as shooting guard Patrick McCaw verbally committed to the Mountain West program.

  17. Arizona State lands former UNLV forward Savon Goodman

    Apr 19, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT

    Savon Goodman, Brandon Spearman AP

    Arizona State has made another addition to its roster, landing a commitment from former UNLV forward Savon Goodman.

  18. USF forward Zach LeDay announces decision to transfer

    Apr 19, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT

    Zach Leday, Shaquille Thomas AP

    Forward Zach LeDay has decided to leave the USF program after spending two seasons in Tampa.

  19. Florida A&M fires head coach Clemon Johnson after three seasons

    Apr 19, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    2013 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic - Florida A&M v Florida Gulf Coast Getty Images

    New Florida A&M AD Kellen Winslow Sr. has already decided that the basketball program needs a new leader, as head coach Clemon Johnson was relieved of his duties Friday.

  20. Will Tonny Trocha-Morelos finally suit up for Texas A&M?

    Apr 19, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT

    CBE Hall Of Fame Classic Getty Images

    Will highly-touted Colombian center Tonny Trocha-Morelos finally be joining the Texas A&M program?

Featured video

Derrick Gordon says 'Why not me?'