Former Miami basketball player headed to the Herd

May 16, 2014 by Derek Redd

New Marshall men’s basketball coach Dan D’Antoni looks like he’ll have a new name on his Thundering Herd roster. Former Miami forward James Kelly posted on his Twitter feed Friday morning that he’s headed to Marshall. I’ve been told nothing’s been officially signed as of yet, but the 6-foot-7, 247-pounder will transfer and sit out a year before becoming eligible.

Kelly came to the Hurricanes from Owens Community College, the same school that gave Marshall guard Justin Edmonds. The Ann Arbor, Mich., native played in 27 games last season and started 11, averaging 6.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game.  He was suspended for four late-season games for an unspecified team rules violation, returned for Miami’s last four games and was granted his scholarship release in April.

There are a couple of numbers in Kelly’s game that show why D’Antoni would be interested in him. D’Antoni commented in Friday’s Daily Mail story (which also has information on his contract and assistant coaches) about what he’s looking for in his players.

The player I’m looking for is a smart player that has skills — especially shooting skills and a little ball handling skills — who love basketball and want to play hard and want to listen and want to be coached. If we can get those five ingredients, then we’ll put a good team on that floor.

The key phrase there is “especially shooting skills.” Kelly shot 48.5 percent from the floor last season for Miami. That would have been the second-best shooting percentage last season among Herd players averaging at least 10 minutes. TyQuane Goard led Marshall in shooting 53.4 percent. And while Kelly only took 37 3-pointers, he made 15 of them. That 40.5-percent rate would have been the best percentage from 3 on last year’s Marshall team. DeVince Boykins led last year’s team with 38.3 percent.

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