Jim Larranaga

Miami adds JuCo forward James Kelly, seventh player added

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Jim Larranaga and the Atlantic Coast Conference champs added a seventh newcomer for the 2013-2014 season in junior college transfer James Kelly (Owens Community College/Toledo, Ohio).

The transfer power forward Kelly averaged 18.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while leading Owens CC to the NJCAA Division II tournament semifinals. Kelly was ranked as the No. 22 overall junior college player according to JuCoRecruiting.com

“James Kelly will be a vital part of the team this season because he provides us a power forward/small forward who can contribute both inside and outside,” Larranaga said in a statement. “He’s 6-7, 245 pounds and he’s big enough to battle the bigger teams in the ACC, but also quick enough to guard smaller players on the perimeter.”

Miami ended last season with a 29-7 record, but will not return its six top scorers, including five graduating seniors and sophomore point guard Shane Larkin who declared for the NBA Draft.

“Our recruiting class in the spring has added a lot of versatility and much-needed skills to our program,” added Larranaga. “We have graduated five outstanding seniors and lost Shane Larkin to the NBA Draft, so we have a lot of holes to fill.”

Kelly signed on Tuesday along with Emmanuel LeComte, a 5-foot-9 point guard from Belgium. The Hurricanes will try to get transfer point guard Angel Rodriguez to get a waiver to play next year after transferring from Kansas State.

The rest of Miami’s incoming class includes shooting guards Davon Reed (Princeton Day School/Princeton, N.J.) and Deandre Burnett (Massanutten Military Academy/Miami, Fla.) A pair of Miami football recruits — Derrick Griffin and Cornelius Elder — will join the basketball team at the end of football season.

The six players Miami lose from the 2012-2013 team accounted for an average of 62.9 points per game.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.