Before you start reading this, I have to get something off my chest.
I am absolutely thrilled watching the recent revival of Canisius College basketball.
Being the son of a Canisius alumnus, I went to many Golden Griffins games as a child and even had season tickets with my father during eighth grade.
The hiring of Jim Baron changed the culture of Canisius basketball (gogriffs.com)
While other kids were talking about the Bills and Sabres everyday, I would bring up how the Griffs were doing on a daily basis…at the time, not very good.
But as time passed and Canisius continued to struggle, I started to fall away from following the team closely during my teenage years.
I continued to check out how they were doing in the paper and would check their box scores the night after games but it was hard to get invested in a team that didn’t appear to have any hope of improving.
But that all changed this past spring when the program decided to hire Jim Baron as their next head coach.
A proven winner, the hire was a move that sent shockwaves throughout the Buffalo Big Four basketball community.
As a head coach at Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, and St. Francis, Baron had successfully coached teams into the NCAA Tournament and the NIT.
With him heading to Canisius, Griffs fans finally had a reason to start getting hopeful about the direction of their program.
Then a few months after hiring Baron, the biggest moment in recent Canisius basketball history took place over the summer.
Billy Baron is the most talented Griffs player in quite some time. (Tom Wolf Imaging)
After taking his time to decide if he would stay at Rhode Island or transfer somewhere else to finish his college career, Billy Baron decided he would move to Buffalo to finish his college career with his father at Canisius.
A proven point guard, Baron is the best Griffs player in quite some time.
The team instantly took to him and was built around his play.
A hot start capped off with wins over Temple and Fairfield brought some excitement back to Canisius to start the year.
Now, sitting at 16-9 (9-5) overall and coming off their first road win over Niagara since 2002, Canisius is feeling great about their chances heading into the season’s stretch run.
Not only do the Griffs have a team that could potentially win the MAAC Tourney, but they also still have a chance to win the MAAC regular season title, sitting only one game back of MAAC leader Niagara.
Canisius is having a magical season. They have a chance to win 20+ games. Led by Billy Baron, they have a realistic opportunity at making the NCAA Tournament for only the fifth time in school history and their first since 1996.
This team is good. They’re talented and they’re focused.
Now is the time to get behind the Griffs.
The rebuilding process might only be in year one but they’re already moving at full throttle.
Follow them now or you might miss out on something magical come March.
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