Keith Stone to make his Miami basketball debut vs. Illinois

The Miami basketball team will receive some much-needed depth on the frontline when Florida transfer Keith Stone makes his debut on Monday Night. The Hurricanes are in Champaign, Illinois to face the Fighting Illini.

Keith Stone transferred to the Miami basketball program from Florida as a graduate transfer for his final collegiate season in 2019-20.  Stone averaged 6.1 points per game and 3.9 rebounds last season as a junior in 17 games with the Gators before suffering a torn ACL and ending his season in January.

Stone has career averages of 6.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG and he has a career three-point percentage of 39.4 percent. The addition of Stone to the rotation for the Miami basketball team will help the Hurricanes tremendously upfront. Miami has had to rely on junior starters Rodney Miller at center and Sam Waardenburg at forward.

Freshman Anthony Walker has backed up Miller and Waardenburg. The Hurricanes need Stone to help provide a boost upfront on the board. Miami opponents have 24 more rebounds in seven games. Miami has to be better defensively and on the boards. Stone will likely come off the bench initially.

The timing of Stone making his debut is more needed than thought shortly before game time. The official Miami basketball twitter account announced about 15 minutes before tipoff with Illinois that sophomore forward-center Deng Gak who was averaging 12 minutes, 1.9 points, and 1.6 rebounds is lost for the season.

According to @CanesHoops Gak suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice. It is the second year in a row that Gak suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the season. Gak played in only eight games in the 2018-19 season. Stone will provide more scoring than Gak did but is two inches shorter.

Stone joining the Miami basketball program is a return home for the 6’8 244 pound forward. He is from Deerfield Beach. The Hurricanes game at Illinois is the first of the last four non-conference games before the Hurricanes begin ACC play on New Year’s Eve at Clemson. Miami will have 12 days off following the game at Illinois.

Next: Miami will play in 2020 Cayman Islands Classic

Miami will be off for finals and then return to the Watsco Center for the first time in nearly a month on December 14 against Alabama A&M. Temple at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn and Coppin State at home are the Hurricanes final two non-conference games.

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