JUCO Kelly joins Hurricanes basketball program
May. 14, 2013
MIAMI (AP) — Junior college transfer James Kelly signed a national letter of intent with the Miami Hurricanes, giving coach Jim Larranaga seven new players after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title last season.
The 6-foot-8 Kelly averaged 18.3 points and 10.1 rebounds last season for Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio and led his team to the NJCAA Division II tournament semifinals.
The Hurricanes on Tuesday also announced the signing of Manu LeComte, a 5-9 point guard from Belgium. LeComte recently played in the U18 European Championship, where he led his team in scoring at 12.0 points per game.
Miami earlier added former Kansas State starting point guard Angel Rodriguez, who last season helped the Wildcats to the Big 12 Championship, a 27-8 record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament. In two seasons at Kansas State, Rodriguez averaged 9.8 points and 4.2 assists per game.
Rodriguez transferred to be closer to his mother and two younger brothers, who live in his native Puerto Rico. He's seeking an NCAA waiver for permission to play in 2013-14 .
The Hurricanes will have four other newcomers. They lost their top six players from last season, when they won the ACC and league tournament titles for the first time.
"Our recruiting class in the spring has added a lot of versatility and much-needed skills to our program," Larranaga said. "We have graduated five outstanding seniors and lost Shane Larkin to the NBA draft, so we have a lot of holes to fill."
Committing during the early signing period were 6-1 Deandre Burnett of Miami Gardens, Fla., and 6-6 Davon Reed of Princeton, N.J. The Hurricanes also added Corn Elder and Derrick Griffin, who plan to play football as well as basketball.
Elder is a 5-11 point guard from Nashville, Tenn., and Griffin is a 6-7 forward from Rosenberg, Texas.