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Welcome to the U: Joe Thomas

Miami picks up a 6'7 235 pound transfer and front court player for 2014-15.


The University of Miami Football team has been on quite the tear of late on the recruiting trail.

Well not be undone, the Men's Basketball Team picked up a big piece Friday afternoon.

Assistant Coach Eric Konkol broke the news:

Shortly thereafter we learned that it was Niagra transfer Joe Thomas,  from the UM Staff:

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Joe Thomas, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound forward, has signed a financial aid agreement to play men’s basketball for the University of Miami, head coach Jim Larrañaga announced Friday.

"Joe joins us at the perfect time," said Larrañaga. "We needed a front court player with experience and a fifth-year senior was exactly what my staff and I hoped for. He provides us with some size and strength and rebounding toughness."

Thomas is a fifth-year transfer from Niagara University, and will have one year of eligibility with the Hurricanes, beginning immediately.

At UM, Thomas will be reunited with former Miami Krop High School teammate Angel Rodriguez, who will be eligible to play the 2014-15 season after transferring a year ago.

Thomas averaged 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 30 games last year during his redshirt junior season at Niagara. He led the Purple Eagles in blocks, and his 54.8 field goal percentage was second-best on the squad.

As a prep player at Krop High in Miami, he averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists as a senior. He and Rodriguez led the Lightning to a 26-6 record and its first trip to the Class 6A state final four in 2009-10.

The native of Miami is the son of Nicole Wells and brother to Tracelyn and Kahaila.

Thomas joins eight new players on Miami’s 2014-15 roster, which includes five recruits – Kamari Murphy, Ja’Quan Newton, James Palmer, Omar Sherman and Ivan Cruz Uceda – along with two Big 12 transfers – Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan – and redshirt freshman Deandre Burnett, who sat out the 2013-14 season with an injury.

Our take: Thomas is not a guy who is going to bring down the house with huge numbers, or be a double double machine.  But he is a big body that can provide valuable minutes in the one area Miami needs most!   The 'Canes back court is loaded.  Thomas need only focus on crashing the boards, playing great defense, setting good screens, and occasionally getting some easy buckets.  The chemistry with former H.S. teammate Rodriguez can only help as well.