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Canisius releases three players from their scholarships

Jim Baron

FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2012, file photo, Rhode Island coach Jim Baron talks to his players during an NCAA college basketball game against Xavier in Cincinnati. Baron was fired Sunday, March 4, 2012, after 11 years and a 7-24 season. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)


New Canisius head coach Jim Baron has a lot of work to do in turning around a program that’s struggled mightily since the departure of John Beilein.

On Friday Baron announced that three players had their requests to be released from their scholarships granted.

Junior guard Gaby Belardo, sophomore David Santiago and freshman Franklin Milian were all released and won’t be back for the 2012-13 season.

Belardo, who began his collegiate career at USF, averaged 12.0 points and 2.6 assists per game despite dealing with a nagging back injury for much of the season.

Having graduated in December, Belardo will look to play immediately by enrolling in a graduate school program that Canisius doesn’t offer at the new school he chooses.

This move marks the second transfer for Santiago, who began his collegiate career at American. Santiago averaged 1.3 points per game in 2011-12, and Milian posted 2.6 points and 1.7 rebounds per game.

The Golden Griffins do return Alshawn Hymes and Harold Washington, who combined to average 32.4 points per game last season, and Washington was a second team All-MAAC selection.

Canisius went 5-25 overall and 1-17 in the MAAC last season.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.