Former Hendricken standout Billy Baron is continuing to pace Canisius on the hardwood, as the Golden Griffins jockey for position in the Metro Atlantic Athletic conference as league play begins to round the corner and head down the home stretch.
Baron is the workhorse of the Canisius five, averaging a team-high 34.5 minutes per game while leading the squad in assists (131) and points per game (16.3), while his 22 steals and 4.4 rebounds per game prove that he’s no slouch on defense.
In addition, he notched his second MAAC player of the week honor of the season as 2012 gave way to 2013. Baron earned the award for his play in games against Alcorn State and Detroit Mercy as the Golden Griffins wrapped up the non-conference portion of their schedule.
For all the success that he has had up to this point, Baron has encountered heartbreak: his buzzer-beater against conference leader Niagara on January 27 was nullified after the game’s officials reviewed a replay of the shot and determined that he released the ball just after the horn went off.
Baron and his father, former URI head coach Jim Baron, have helped to engender a sense of confidence into a program that has lacked it in recent years. Canisius is currently 15-8 overall (8-4 in conference play) and is heading into a stretch that will see the Golden Griffins play their next five contests on the road, including a rematch against Niagara this upcoming Sunday.
Another Hendricken product that is enjoying his basketball at the moment is Ryan Palumbo, who is now suiting up for Roger Williams.
He currently leads the team in assists with 65, while his 91 rebounds places him in second on the squad.
Palumbo is also shooting the ball at a reasonable clip; he has reached double figures in three of RWU’s last four games, with his 21 pacing the Hawks in a 93-80 defeat at the hands of Gordon on January 29.
Former Hawks on the ice
The hockey team at Assumption College has a pair of Hendricken graduates in their ranks this season, and although the Greyhounds are skating toward a losing campaign, both former Hawks have contributed in their own ways.
Defenseman Nick Mattiello has shown that he is not afraid to contribute in the attacking zone as his four goals on the season leads all blue-liners on the team, while his seven points place him in a tie for sixth among all Assumption players.
Shane Benjamin is one of three freshman understudies to the current starting goaltender, but has gotten lost in the shuffle in the battle for playing time.
The only appearance that he has made between the pipes so far this season came on January 9 in Assumption’s 6-3 loss to Salve Regina. Benjamin faced nine shots from the Seahawks in the first six minutes of the final period, saving all of them before returning to the bench for the balance of the evening.