Purdue Basketball Recruiting: Billy Baron

So I have some late recruiting news tonight. Billy Baron, a 6'2" 195 pound sophomore from Rhode Island is transferring after his father was fired as head coach. His dad went 7-24 this past season at Rhode Island, showing it wasn't the best year. The reason this applies to us is that our Boilermakers seem to be interested in him:

Jeff Goodman@GoodmanCBS

Purdue making a strong push to land URI transfer Billy Baron, sources told CBSSports.

First, here are the numbers: Baron averaged a respectable 13 points per game and shot 40% from the field, 31% from three. He also averaged 2.6 assists per game and 4.4 rebounds. He just completed his sophomore season, and his next college will be his third after he started his career at Virginia. His numbers came this year after he had to sit out the first semester, having played only one semester for the Cavaliers. In Charlottesville he only saw action in a handful of games, scoring 19 points, 14 of those came against USC-Upstate.

This means he has two years of eligibility, which can be both good and bad. It is good because he will apply for a waiver to be immediately eligible given his coaching situation. He can, in theory at least, come in and play immediately, providing depth in our backcourt. He can likely play some minutes at the point, be a three-point shooter (he led the Rams from three), and generally provide some much needed backcourt depth. The downside is that he has two years eligible. We currently have only a spot open for the 2012-13 season, not 2013-14 as the scholarship graph states.

So, if he does come and is immediately eligible, someone becomes the odd man out in a year. Will it be 5th year player Sandi Marcius by then? Will we see a transfer? Will a select two fight to the death for the final scholarship? It is way too early to tell, but if Baron does come on board it will be something the coaching staff must address.

Here is an interview after his game-winner over St. Louis, and NCAA Tournament team:

Here is some video from his time at Virginia:

Finally, here are some highlights for him:

Baron lifts URI over Saint Louis 64-62: wpri.com

This kid seems like he would be a decent fit on the 2012-13 team. Two of my biggest concerns are backcourt depth and three-point shooting. D.J. Byrd is a proven deep threat, but other than him we only have Terone Johnson and Anthony Johnson, both of whom didn't shoot much from long range. I like AJ's jumper from what I have seen, and TJ can be hot or cold. His game is more penetrating, anyway.

We need someone who can fill a Ryne Smith role of staying on the perimeter and being a shooter. Ronnie Johnson and TJ can get to the rack and kick out. A.J. Hammons is supposed to be a decent passing big man. If we can find someone that can be the out in an inside-out threat he could be useful. Honestly, the inside-out game is what will make Kevin Ferrell at IU lethal given their shooters. It would be nice to be able to do a little of it ourselves.

I like that Baron is a proven player and one that can adapt quickly, but I am concerned that he is going on his third program in three seasons. The situation at Rhode Island was unique, but he bailed on Virginia after only a semester. I don't know how much of an issue that is, but it could be.

The coaching staff seems to like him. However, and the possibility that he can come in and be an immediate contributor is a huge selling point. Even if he doesn't start he can see minutes off the bench in a variety of roles. His presence allows Byrd to play at the three and cuts down on the minutes AJ, TJ, and RJ have to play. Outside of them, we don't have much in the backcourt short of Dru Anthrop in the backcourt if Byrd stays at the three. We also don't have much at the three, either.

So, we wait and watch. I would welcome him to the family of being a Boilermaker, and it would be fun to have him as an asset this coming season.

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