College Hoops Recruiting Gets Awkward with Father-Son Relationships

Rhode Island coach Jim Baron got to do what many fathers dream about for four years. He coached his son, Jimmy (pictured), who led the Rams to a 23-11 record. Baron was an outstanding shooter, hitting 45.4 percent from 3-point range and averaging 17.4 points in his senior season. The Rams narrowly lost at Duke early during Jimmy's senior season. So the father-son relationship worked pretty well. ↵

↵The next Baron boy, Billy, had pledged his allegiance to his dad, too. He'd head to Rhode Island next season and pick up where Jimmy left off. At least until today, when plans changed. ↵

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↵Scout.com ($$$) has the following headline: "The son of URI coach Jim Baron is headed to the ACC." More details from the Providence Journal, albeit with a less definitive tone. ↵

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↵⇥Billy Baron, the son of URI coach Jim Baron, apparently is considering changing his mind and attending the University of Virginia next year, rather than URI. ↵⇥

↵⇥[...] ↵⇥

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↵⇥"When an ACC school comes calling, you have to listen," Jim Baron told the Journal. "I don't know yet. I'm going to have to sit down with Billy and talk about it. We have to do what's right for Billy." ↵⇥

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↵Putting two and two together, it certainly sounds like Billy will pick Virginia over URI and his pops. It's no small loss for Rhode Island either, considering Billy is a three-star recruit and the No. 37 point guard in the nation, according to Scout. (Baron can move pretty easily from URI to Virginia. He didn't have to sign a letter of intent because his dad works for the school.) ↵

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↵The Baron family isn't the only one fighting the father-son dynamic in recruiting wars. In a battle that is of significantly more consequence nationally, Ray McCallum Jr., a four-star player who checks in at No. 60 of the Rivals Top 150 (video here), is picking between a host of college hoops' blue bloods ... and Detroit Mercy. Something doesn't fit, right? Ray McCallum Sr. is the coach at Detroit Mercy, so the choice is simple: be another McDonald's All-American at one of the schools like Kansas, UCLA, etc. or go be the savior for an entire school -- and your dad -- at Detroit Mercy. ↵

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↵The latter just doesn't happen. People fantasized about Harrison Barnes staying in Ames and saving Iowa State, but he picked North Carolina. People often talk about LeBron James playing a year at Akron, but he often talks about Ohio State as his college of choice, had he been forced to attend for one season. If there's any saving grace here it's that the elder McCallums and Barons seem to have the right perspective. There is no Marinovich-ing at play here, so the players should have a free path to do what works for them. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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