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Bulls land prized transfer

The men’s basketball team boosted its backcourt with the addition of former Georgia point guard Mike Mercer.

The 6-foot-4-inch junior was dismissed by Bulldogs coach Dennis Felton for “failure to adhere to team standards and policies,” resulting from the school’s new academic policy which has penalties for missing class and other requirements.

Three players were served with a 15-game suspension to open the year because of the policy.

Mercer was Georgia’s second leading scorer last season, 13.4 per game, but missed the final 10 games of the season with an injured knee.

In 2004, Mercer was ranked the No. 7 point guard in the nation by Scout.com and was a 4-star prospect from South Gwinnett High School in Georgia.

Mercer has one and a half years of eligibility remaining and wouldn’t be able to play for the Bulls until December 2008.

The Bulls roster includes three midseason transfers, including leading scorers with center Kentrell Gransberry (Louisiana State) and guard Jesus Verdejao (Arizona), along with guard Aaron Holms (Florida State), who can begin playing in January.

Williams honored

USF cornerback Trae Williams was named to the Big East Honor Roll as he scored a touchdown on a 21-yard interception return during the Bulls’ 48-37 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Williams has taken the last three passes he’s picked off into the end zone, and joins Wake Forest’s Alphonso Smith as the only players to score three times off an interception this season.

The senior’s other scores came against Cincinnati (73-yard return) and Louisville (64-yard return).

This and that

Linebacker Tyrone McKenzie’s 18 tackles against the Panthers were the second most in team history, falling just one shy of the record set by J.R. Reed.

McKenzie now has a team-high 111 tackles and surpassed the century mark for the second consecutive season after recording 129 last year at Iowa State.

Sophomore Matt Grothe has set team records for a quarterback with 832 rushing yards, 10 rushing touchdowns and 3,305 yards of total offense.

Freshman wide receiver Carlton Mitchell has set rookie records with 37 receptions and 537 yards, and freshman running back Mike Ford needs one more rushing touchdown to tie Andre Hall’s single-season record of 13.