Bulls Add Arizona Transfer Verdejo For 06-07

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida men's basketball program has announced the addition of Jesus Verdejo to the program for the upcoming 2006-07 campaign.

"We are elated to add Jesus to the program," head coach Robert McCullum said. "His offensive skills and versatility will greatly enhance our backcourt and will help to fill the shoes of James Holmes, who we lose to graduation."

A transfer from the University of Arizona, Verdejo is enrolled at the University and will begin practicing with the team this week. He will be eligible to compete with the Bulls beginning in December as a sophomore and will have two more seasons at South Florida.

The 6-4, 195-pound guard arrives in Tampa after spending the 2004-05 campaign with Arizona. He made 26 appearances for the Wildcats off the bench, averaging 2.3 points and 0.4 rebounds per game. Verdejo saw action in two NCAA Tournament games (Utah State, UAB) and pound-for-pound was considered the strongest player on the team.

A native of Carolina, Puerto Rico, Verdejo was a member of the Puerto Rican national team this past summer at the 2005 FIBA Under-21 World Championships for Men. In eight games, he averaged 11.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. He shot 50 percent (28-of-56) from the field and helped the squad to a seventh-place finish.

"Jesus' collegiate and international experience puts him in a position to contribute immediately when he becomes eligible next season," McCullum said. "He gives us another option at a number of positions and will allow us to play a three-guard lineup if needed."

Verdejo concluded his prep career at The Winchendon School where he averaged 22.9 points per game and helped the program to a 32-5 record and New England Preparatory School Athletic Council Championship. He finished his career at Christian High School in Miami, Fla., as the program's all-time leading scorer. His two-year tenure included a state championship and national ranking that moved as high as No. 2 in the country.

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