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Miami adds Niagara graduate transfer Joe Thomas

Jun 28, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga directs his team in their East Regional NCAA men's basketball game against the Marquette Golden Eagles in Washington Reuters

Miami will have a completely overhauled roster next season and the Hurricanes added to that on Friday with the addition of Niagara forward Joe Thomas. The school announced the addition of Thomas in an official release.

The 6-foot-7, 235-pound Thomas is a graduate transfer and the rising redshirt senior will be eligible immediately at Miami.

“Joe joins us at the perfect time,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said in the release. “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 averaged 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 30 games last year for the Purple Eagles while shooting 54.8 percent from the field and leading the team in blocks.

A Miami native, Thomas joins former high school teammate Angel Rodriguez on the Hurricane roster this season. Rodriguez is eligible this season after transferring in from Kansas State and the point guard is one of nine newcomers on next year’s roster.

Sheldon McClellan is also eligible for Miami after transferring in from Texas and the Hurricanes will also get redshirt freshman Deandre Burnett back, as he sat out the 2013-14 season with a wrist injury. Larranaga also gets former Oklahoma State forward Kamari Murphy and freshman newcomers Ja’Quan Newton, James Palmer and Omar Sherman. Junior college big man Ivan Cruz Uceda was also added to the class.

Although Thomas wasn’t a major contributor at Niagara, he does give Miami another body in the paint and brings in some much-needed experience.