Jim Baron adjusts to life without son Billy as Canisius will play schedule that allows for several early wins. (Photo courtesy of Canisius College)
Jim Baron's arrival at Canisius has brought success the Golden Griffins have not seen since the mid-1990s, when a largely unknown John Beilein brought the Buffalo institution to the NCAA Tournament en route to making a bigger name for himself at Richmond, and ultimately, West Virginia and Michigan. Nearly two decades later, Baron has done what Mike MacDonald and Tom Parrotta before him could not: Lead the Griffs to the postseason and manage to keep them in contention despite losing his son Billy, the MAAC Player of the Year last season.
Canisius released its schedule last week, and it is a slate conducive to early wins and opportunities for a much younger team to prove itself going into MAAC play, starting with their November 15 season opener against John Becker and Vermont. Road trips to Lehigh, (November 18) St. Bonaventure (November 22) and Cornell (November 26) ensue before the Griffs take on Bobby Hurley and Buffalo inside the First Niagara Center on November 29 as part of the Big 4 Basketball Classic.
The Golden Griffins start MAAC play on December 3 with a journey to Saint Peter's before continuing on the road three days later against local adversary Niagara in the latest installment of the "Battle of the Bridge." A December 13 trek to Massachusetts to face Derek Kellogg's Minutemen precedes a three-game homestand that takes Canisius through both non-league play and 2014, closing the year against Stony Brook, (December 18) Holy Cross (December 21) and UMKC (December 30) before resuming MAAC play with two more home games against Monmouth on January 2 and reigning conference champion Manhattan on January 4.
A road swing to southern New York to meet Marist (January 8) and Iona (January 10) is on deck before the Griffs return home on January 16 to take on Jimmy Patsos and Siena before Iona comes to Buffalo to complete their home-and-home series two days later. Road games against Fairfield (January 22) and Rider (January 24) follow before Quinnipiac and Marist make their way to the Koessler Athletic Center on January 30 and February 1, respectively. Manhattan (February 6) and Monmouth (February 8) will welcome Canisius onto their home floors before Rider comes to western New York on February 13, with Saint Peter's following suit two days later.
Siena (February 19) and Quinnipiac (February 21) will host Canisius on their final regular season road trip, with the second "Battle of the Bridge" against Niagara taking place on February 24 before the Griffs open their doors to Fairfield to conclude the regular season on February 27.