Baron of Upper New York: Can Father-Son Combo Catapult Canisius?
Guard Billy Baron, for the second time in his college playing career, followed his father (Jim) to a different school. Billy averaged 13 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 2.6 apg in a partial season with Rhode Island last year after transferring from Virginia. He originally chose to remain with URI after his father was fired and then hired by Canisius before changing his mind and deciding to transfer again.
If Billy excels in the MAAC, Jim Baron could become the first father to coach two sons who were all-league players in different conferences. Jimmy Baron was an All-Atlantic 10 first-team selection as a URI senior in 2008-09 (17.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 89.2 FT%, 45.4 3FG%).
And if the latest set of Barons help the Golden Griffins post their first winning record since 2000-01, they likely will join a select group of father-son/coach-player combinations who together played significant roles for two universities. Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard played under his father (Ralph) with Western Kentucky and Pittsburgh but isn't among the following three most prominent father-son/coach-player tandems for two different schools:
Allens (64-48 record with Southern Methodist and Nevada-Reno from 1978-79 through 1982-83)
Son Billy led the SWC in assists as a freshman (9 apg) and as a sophomore (9.1 apg). In his sophomore season, SMU tied its highest win total (16) in a 15-year span from 1967-68 through 1981-82. The guard also paced the Mustangs in free-throw percentage both years before transferring with his father (Sonny) to Nevada-Reno. Billy averaged 13.1 ppg and 8.2 apg in 1981-82 and 1982-83 with UNR. He set a Wolf Pack single-season record with 8.6 apg as a junior when he was an All-Big Sky Conference second-team choice before moving up to first-team status the next year.
Smithsons (67-23 with Illinois State and Wichita State from 1977-78 through 1980-81)
Son Randy, who did not play in 1976-77 because of a broken foot, averaged 6.7 ppg for ISU's 1978 NIT team before his father (Gene) moved on to Wichita State. Randy, a transfer from Cowley County Community College (Kan.), averaged 10.9 ppg for WSU's NIT team in 1980 and 13 ppg for NCAA Tournament team in 1981. The Shockers won the 1981 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title.
Suttons (90-40 with Kentucky and Oklahoma State from 1987-88 through 1991-92)
Son Sean averaged 5.9 ppg and a team-high 4.7 apg as a sophomore starter under his father (Eddie) for Kentucky in 1988-89. Sean averaged 11 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 4.4 apg in 1990-91 and 1991-92 for two NCAA Tournament teams after transferring from UK. He led the Cowboys in assists and three-point shooting both seasons. They shared the Big Eight Conference regular-season title in 1991.