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Miami improves its depleted frontcourt by adding DePaul transfer Donnavan Kirk

Having lost its six leading scorers from last season's Sweet 16 team to graduation or the NBA draft, Miami desperately needs an infusion of talent to boost its chances of returning to the NCAA tournament next March.

The Hurricanes got some much-needed help Wednesday morning when they secured a commitment from a transfer already very familiar with Coral Gables.

Forward Donnavan Kirk, who began his college career at Miami before leaving for DePaul three years ago, will return to the Hurricanes for the 2013-14 season, a source confirmed to Yahoo! Sports. The 6-foot-9 senior chose Miami over Colorado State and will be eligible right away for the Hurricanes because he earned his degree from DePaul already.

Kirk played sparingly off the bench at Miami as a freshman and sophomore under former coach Frank Haith, but he should be able to compete for a starting job in his return to the Hurricanes.

In 25.5 minutes per game last season for DePaul, Kirk made a major impact defensively with his ability to alter shots in the lane, averaging 1.6 blocks. He scored a modest 6.2 points per game and didn't rebound as well as you'd expect for someone with his size and athleticism, but he did show newfound range from the perimeter, sinking 38.7 percent of the threes he attempted.

The best-case scenario for Miami would be Kirk solidifying the frontcourt by duplicating some of the production lost by Kenny Kadji's graduation. Kirk would likely start at power forward alongside 7-foot sophomore Tonye Jekiri, a third-string center behind Reggie Johnson and Julian Gamble last season.

How that frontcourt fares could be a barometer for Miami's season because the backcourt has some talent. Kansas State transfer Angel Rodriguez will bring scoring and floor vision at point guard if his petition to be eligible immediately is granted, while leading returning scorer Rion Brown and redshirt senior Garrius Adams should provide solid play on the wings.

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