The Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team took another hit Tuesday afternoon when forward James Kelly was suspended indefinitely by head coach Jim Larrañaga for violating team rules.
“At this time, James Kelly has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules," Larrañaga said in a statement. "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.”
The 6-foot-7, 246-pound forward has started 11 of 23 games for Miami this season and was the team’s fifth leading scorer, averaging seven points and four rebounds in his first season with the Hurricanes after transferring from Owens Community College in Ohio. Kelly also leads the team with a 50.8 field goal percentage.
This is a tough blow for a Miami roster that is already pretty thin due to injuries. The Hurricanes lost freshman guard Deandre Burnett to a broken wrist before the season even started and also had to redshirt guard Corn Elder because he tore a meniscus while playing with the football team in the fall. Transfers Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez also had to sit out due to NCAA rules.
Kelly was coming off of a nine-point performance in Miami’s 52-45 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday when he made three of five three-pointers. His minutes have been down as of late though, averaging just eight minutes per game in Miami’s previous 10.
The suspension should open the door for more minutes for forwards Erik Swoope and Raphael Akpejiori, who has started the past two games for Miami but scored just five combined points.
Miami faces Notre Dame Wednesday night at the BankUnited Center.
Larranaga also announced Tuesday that walk-on Steve Sorenson has left the team to focus on his academics. Sorenson played in just two minutes over two games this season.