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Hurricanes suspend backup forward James Kelly

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A day before his team is to host Notre Dame, University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larranaga announced the suspension of junior forward James Kelly.

The reason given: Violation of team rules.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Larranaga said, “James is a fine young man but we need him to have a clear focus on what is expected of a student-athlete at the University of Miami.”

Kelly, an Ann Arbor, Mich., native who transferred to Miami from Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio, is averaging 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in his first season with the Hurricanes. He has started 11 of 23 appearances, missing two games to injury. His last start was Jan. 8 in the win at North Carolina.

Miami is 12-13 for the season and 3-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference going into Wednesday night’s game against the Irish.

The Hurricanes are still looking for their first conference win at home after losing their first six ACC outings at the BankUnited Center. Their only home win in six home games this calendar year was a non-conference affair against Norfolk State.

They have lost four of their last five games with a win over Florida State in Tallahassee the only victory. They lost at Virginia Tech in their last outing for the second time this season.

“I think our lack of success at home here can really be attributed to the inconsistency of our performances throughout the year,” Larranaga said. “We just don’t play the same way on a regular basis, the individual player.

“A lot of that is guys playing out of position. We don’t really have a clear 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 man.”

Tipoff time for the game against the Irish is 9 p.m. It will be telecast on several Fox Sports outlets via the RSN network.

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