Newcomers Stand Out In USF Hoops Scrimmage

TAMPA, FL (October 28, 2006) -- The University of South Florida men's basketball team conducted its first scrimmage Saturday afternoon for the rapidly approaching 2006-07 campaign and the fans in attendance were introduced to the host of newcomers on the roster.

"I thought overall it was a good effort with a lot of positives," head coach Robert McCullum said. "We haven't been able to get up-and-down the court as much as we would have liked because of injuries and it was important to finally get a chance to do that."

USF's 10 healthy scholarship players split into two teams, several trades were made during play, and participated in three 10-minute games with BIG EAST officials. McCullum and assistant Greg Gary directed the "Green" squad while assistants Frank Burnell and Charles Cunningham led the "White" team.

The "Green" team posted victories in the first two sessions, earning 21-16 and 17-15 wins before the "White" squad ran away with a 25-11 decision in game three.

Junior center Kentrell Gransberry, eligible in mid-December, dominated the entire afternoon at both ends of the court. He shot 9-of-15 from the field and finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Ten of his team-best rebounds came at the offensive end.

"I thought the play of Kentrell really stood out," McCullum said. "He rebounded the ball extremely well, especially at the offensive end."

Gransberry accounted for 14 of the 21 points for the "Green" squad in game one and all four of his rebounds came at the offensive end. He was joined in the starting lineup by USF seniors Melvin Buckly, McHugh Mattis and freshmen Amu Saaka and Solomon Bozeman.

"I thought Amu (Saaka) had some good moments and provided some bright spots," McCullum said. "All of our new guys are still learning what to do."

Bozeman finished with 12 points on the day, as did forward Melvyn Richardson, who also chipped in seven rebounds. Of the 10 scholarship players to see action on Saturday, nine netted at least seven points.

"Melvin (Buckley) and McHugh (Mattis) displayed some important leadership as they continue to help the younger players develop," McCullum said.

The Bulls will host Florida Southern in a closed scrimmage Tuesday night prior to the exhibition matchup with Saint Leo Nov. 6 at the Sun Dome. USF's regular season opener comes Nov. 13 at home versus Buffalo.

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