Joe Thomas, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound forward, has signed a financial aid agreement to play for the Hurricanes, coach Jim Larrañaga announced Friday.
"Joe joins us at the perfect time," Larrañaga said in a statement released by the school. "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, a fifth-year transfer from Niagara University, will have one year of eligibility with the Hurricanes, beginning immediately. At UM, Thomas will be reunited with former Miami Krop High teammate and point guard Angel Rodriguez.
Thomas averaged 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 30 games last year during his redshirt junior season at Niagara. He led the Purple Eagles in blocks, and his 54.8 field goal percentage was second-best on the squad.
As a prep player at Krop, Thomas averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists as a senior. He and Rodriguez led the Lightning to a 26-6 record and its first trip to the Class 6A state Final Four.
Thomas joins eight new players on Miami’s 2014-15 roster. Five are recruits: Kamari Murphy, Ja’Quan Newton, James Palmer, Omar Sherman and Ivan Cruz Uceda. Two are Big 12 Conference transfers – Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan. Redshirt freshman Deandre Burnett sat out last season with an injury.
> Earlier this week, UM announced the team had an accepted an invitation to participate in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational hosted by the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Monday, Dec. 22. The Canes will take on Providence.