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.