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Posted at 5:46 PM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Billy Baron leaving UVA, plans to transfer to Rhode Island

By Steve Yanda

Freshman guard Billy Baron is leaving the Virginia men's basketball program and plans to transfer to Rhode Island, according to a release issued Thursday by the Virginia athletic department. Baron's father, Jim, is the Rhode Island men's basketball coach.

"I love my coaches and my teammates at Virginia," Baron said in a statement. "Virginia is a great place, but I want to go home, be with my family and play for my dad."

Baron played in 17 of Virginia's 22 games this season and averaged 11.1 minutes and 3.0 points in those appearances. Baron's freshman campaign got off to a solid start, as he tallied 19 points in the Cavaliers' season-opening win over William & Mary and recorded 14 points in Virginia's next game, a win over South Carolina-Upstate.

But Baron's playing time fell off considerably after that. He did not appear in five of Virginia's past nine games and regularly was used as a member of the scout team during Cavaliers practices.

"I knew when Billy decided to come to Virginia he had a very hard decision and labored over it," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said in a statement. "Obviously we're sad to see him go and appreciate his contributions to our program, but the desire to play for your father is very strong, as I can personally attest. We'll miss him and wish him well."

With Baron's departure, senior forward Mike Scott's season-ending injury and freshman forward James Johnson's redshirt status, Bennett currently has nine scholarship players at his disposal.

By Steve Yanda  | February 3, 2011; 5:46 PM ET
Categories:  Men's Basketball  
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