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CHARLOTTESVILLE-Freshman guard Billy Baron (East Greenwich, R.I.) is leaving the Virginia men’s basketball program and plans to transfer to the University of Rhode Island this semester.

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

Baron’s father, Jim, is the men’s head basketball coach at Rhode Island.

“I knew when Billy decided to come to Virginia he had a very hard decision and labored over it,” said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett. “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.”

Baron played in 17 games for Virginia this season and averaged 3.0 points a game. He had a game-high 19 points in Virginia’s victory over William & Mary in the season opener and 14 points in a win against USC Upstate in the second game of the season.

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