Is Canisius College coach Jim Baron the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference coach of the year? Buffalo basketball fans say it's a slam dunk. Yes.
What will the MAAC coaches say? We will find out at 5 p.m. Friday, when the votes are announced. Here's a breakdown of the race, with the four coaches who are the prime candidates:
IONA'S TIM CLUESS.
Picked 1st. Finished 1st. Returned three starters from last year's 17-3 team. Record: 17-3. Preseason had two first-team all-MAAC players. Postseason had two first team all-MAAC players. Cluess won the Coach of the Year award last season.
RIDER'S KEVIN BAGGETT.
Picked 7th. Finish 2nd. Returned three starters from last year's 9-11 team. Record: 15-5. Preseason had one third-team all-MAAC pick. Postseason had one first-team all-MAAC pick.
MONMOUTH'S KING RICE.
Picked 6th. Finished 3rd. Returned five starters from last year's 5-15 team and added transfer Brice Kofane from Providence. Record 13-7. Preseason had one third-team pick. Postseason had one first-team pick.
CANISIUS' JIM BARON:
Picked 10th. Finished 5th. Returned one starter from last year's 14-6 team. Record: 11-9. Preseason had no all-MAAC picks. Postseason had one third-team pick. (Also survived loss of second- and fourth-leading scorers due to injury.)