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Grothe held out of second practice

For the second straight day, Bulls quarterback Matt Grothe was held out of practice. Grothe, however, does not feel the injury is very serious.

“I’ve been having some back spasms,” Grothe said. “I’ve had problems with my back before and it goes away – it’s just a matter of working through it. I should be good to go by next week.”

Bulls coach Jim Leavitt agreed with his quarterback.

“I’m not as worried about him,” Leavitt said. “If there was a game tonight, he’d be out there.”

Leavitt did, however, have concerns about the Bulls defense.

“The offense is ahead of the defense right now, but we have a lot of guys back on offense,” Leavitt said. “There is a lot of work to do on defense, and we have prided ourselves on great defense. We’re not there yet, but if anybody can get us there it’s Wally Burnham.”

Burnham feels like the defense made progress on Wednesday, the Bulls’ second day in pads.

“We came out with a little more intensity than we did (Tuesday),” Burnham said. “For a lot of guys this is their first time out there. I think that they were a little bit better today than they were (Tuesday) – especially with the amount of effort they showed.”

USF to play in Puerto RicoThis fall, the South Florida men’s basketball team will not have to worry about the cold weather that typically accompanies the holiday season because the Bulls have been invited to participate in the San Juan Shootout.

The eight-team tournament – which will take place Dec. 20-22 – is hosted by Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.

The competition is already beginning to look tough as two 2008 NCAA Tournament teams – Oral Roberts and George Mason – have already committed to the event. Other committed schools include Murray State and an in-state rival – the Florida Atlantic University Owls.

One player in particular – guard Jesus Verdejo – will enjoy the trip. He is a native of Carolina, Puerto Rico.