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Billy Baron leaves Rhode Island two months after his father’s firing

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Billy Baron (AP)

Trey Zeigler already received a waiver to play immediately at Pittsburgh next season after he transferred there when Central Michigan fired his father.

Now Billy Baron also hopes to take advantage of the precedent the NCAA has set.

Baron, Rhode Island's second leading scorer last season, announced Tuesday he will transfer in the wake of the school firing his father, Jim Baron, more than two months ago. The 6-foot-2 guard will have two years eligibility remaining at whichever school he chooses.

"We wish Billy the best as he continues his college basketball career," new Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley said in a release. "We think the world of him as a player and a person."

Baron's departure from Rhode Island is the latest episode in the sweet-shooting Rhode Island native's promising yet meandering college career. He transferred one semester into his freshman year at Virginia because he wanted to play for his dad only to see Jim Baron get fired this March after a woeful 7-24 season marked by the struggle to replace leading scorer Jamal Wilson.

In 20 games with Rhode Island last season, Baron averaged 13.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, though he struggled with his consistency from behind the arc. He originally pledged to stay at Rhode Island and play for Hurley, telling the Providence Journal "This is my home. This is where I want to be."

That Baron changed his mind is a difficult blow for a Rhode Island program headed for some massive rebuilding under Hurley. The Rams bring back leading rebounder Jonathan Holton and Serbian sharpshooter Nikola Malesevic, but they're at least a year or two away from being competitive with the Atlantic 10's upper echelon.

It's unclear where Baron will transfer, but one obvious possibility is Canisius, which just hired his dad as coach. Then maybe Baron will finally get to play the rest of his career for his dad as he hoped to do.

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