Kelley met with Jordan before the start of the season, and the two decided it was best for him to pursue his college career elsewhere.
"He sat down and he agreed with me," Kelley said. "He said he knows I'm a good player and he was honest. He said that there's just not that many minutes available here for you. It's in my best interest to probably go somewhere else."
The 6-foot-2 shooting guard went from 24 points per game in high school to seeing just three minutes of on-court action as a college freshman. Kelley is the all-time leading scorer for Governor Livingston (N.J.) with 1,324 points.
"I started to lose a little bit of my love for basketball because I didn't get a chance to perform with all of the work I put in," Kelley said. "I thought I would get a bigger chance this year, and it just didn't work out. I felt that it would be the best decision for me and my family to go somewhere else to get back to doing what I do."
One of Jordan's first moves as coach was to put Kelley on scholarship, but other summer roster additions made his chances of playing time diminished. The Scarlet Knights welcomed back projected starter Jerome Seagears, and signed JuCo guard D'Von Campbell going into the summer.
"I just miss getting to do what I love to do so much," Kelley said. "People haven't seen me play a game in a long time except for the summer [in the Jersey Shore Basketball League]. I'm the same guy I was in high school, but with a million more moves and more consistency. I still have a dynamic offensive game. My weaknesses on defense and my quickness have improved two-fold between strength and conditioning at Rutgers and [former coach Mike] Rice last year and coach Jordan this year."
Kelley had offers and interest from multiple smaller programs out of high school, but decided to go big for his state university. Wagner, Monmouth, LIU, NJIT, Miami University and Bowling Green recruited him out of high school.
Receiving his release Tuesday morning, Kelley said he is thankful for his time and support at Rutgers but excited to move on. He will finish the semester at Rutgers academically before transferring to a new program in the spring. He aims to be eligible for action in the spring of 2015 because of NCAA transfer regulations.
"My experience at Rutgers is irreplaceable," Kelley said. "I'm hopeful that other schools will realize that I may not have played in a game, but every single day of the year I'm going against one of the premiere guards in the nation (Myles Mack). He's the one that I have to guard and go against and that has improved me by astronomical numbers."