Between dealing with the fallout of an NCAA probe, the highs of a run to an ACC title and the Sweet 16, and now a roster overhaul thanks to big time departures, transfers and injuries, coach Jim Larrañaga on Monday referred to his first three seasons at the University of Miami as “the most variety of challenges” he’s ever faced as a coach. Well, here’s another one coach. Tuesday, UM indefinitely suspended forward James Kelly — a key player off the bench in a nine-man rotation — for violating team rules. Kelly (6-7, 246) ranks fifth on the team in scoring (7.0) and rebounds (4.0) and was averaging nearly 20 minutes a game, most of them off the bench. “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,” Larrañaga said in a statement released by the school. A source close to the team told the Miami Herald that Kelly’s suspension was expected to last three games — including Wednesday night when Notre Dame (14-12, 5-8 ACC) visits the BankUnited Center for a 9 p.m. tip-off. Still looking for their first conference win at home and with six regular season games left, the Hurricanes (12-13, 3-9 ACC) have been facing depth issues all season. The loss of four guards — freshmen Corn Elder and Deandre Burnett (injuries), and juniors Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan (NCAA transfer rules) — has forced many on the roster to play out of position, Larrañaga said. The result: the Hurricanes have morphed from a fast-paced, get-up-the-floor team a year ago with first round pick Shane Larkin running the point to a slow-grinding, deliberate, wait-for-the-open-shot offense.
Hurricanes suspend forward James Kelly, will face Notre Dame
Miami Herald | Feb 19