Forward Joe Thomas transferring from Niagara to play for Hurricanes

Joe Thomas (30) played 94 games for Niagara over three seasons.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Miami men’s basketball team announced the addition of forward Joe Thomas on Friday.

Thomas is a fifth-year transfer from Niagara University who will be eligible to play this season.

The 6-foot-7, 235-pounder averaged 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 30 games (10 starts) last year. He led the team with 27 blocks and ranked second with a 54.8 field-goal percentage.

Over three seasons from 2011-14, he played in 94 games, posting averages of 3.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.7 blocks. He had a redshirt year in 2010-11.

"Joe joins us at the perfect time," head coach Jim Larranaga said in a statement. "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 reunited with guard Angel Rodriguez. The pair starred at Miami Krop High School. Rodriguez sat the 2013-14 season after transferring from Kansas State.

As a senior in high school, Thomas averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists as his squad made its first trip to the Class 6A state final four in 2009-10.

There will be eight newcomers on the Hurricanes roster — five recruits (Kamari Murphy, Ja’Quan Newton, James Palmer, Omar Sherman and Ivan Cruz Uceda) as well as three transfers (Thomas, Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan). In addition, redshirt freshman guard Deandre Burnett sat out the 2013-14 season with an injury.

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