Statement from UM:
University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga announced Friday that James Kelly has been granted a release and plans to transfer.
“I have made the difficult decision to transfer from the University of Miami," said Kelly. "I believe it is in the best interest of my family that I continue my education and basketball career closer to them. I would like to thank Coach L for the opportunity he gave me and all of his support during this year.”
Kelly, a 6-7 forward from Ann Arbor, Mich., averaged 6.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in 27 games played for the Hurricanes.
"We support the decision James has made to continue his academic and athletic career closer to family," said Larrañaga. "We wish him nothing but the best."
Our take: This is worrisome in the short term with Miami's front court depth already being limited. There were hints this might happen with Kelly's late season suspension that lasted 3 games, and his decreased playing time.
If UM can convince Tennessee State transfer MJ Rhett or any other decent 5th year transfer to come to Coral Gables, they will be fine. If not, Tonye Jekiri, Ivan Cruz Uceda, and Omar Sherman will have a heavy load to carry next season down low.