Bozeman, Parghalava open up scholarships
USF men's basketball coach Stan Heath has two more scholarships available for next month's spring signing period, as sophomore guard Solomon Bozeman has decided to transfer and junior college guard Lasha Parghalava will not be coming to USF as once planned.
Bozeman, who started 24 games as a freshman under Robert McCullum, saw his role diminish this season, with his minutes dropping and his scoring down from 9.6 points to 5.2 as a sophomore.
"It really just wasn't a good fit. By transferring, I'll get another year of school, a year to get bigger and stronger," Bozeman said. "I think leaving was the best decision."
Bozeman said he'd considered leaving ever since redshirt freshman guard Dante Curry transferred to Georgia State in December. That's a possibility for Bozeman, who originally signed with Georgia State coach Rod Barnes when he was at Mississippi before getting a release after the Rebels' coaching change.
His father, Eric Bozeman, is head coach at Central Arkansas, but said his son wouldn't be transferring there.
"Stan's been very gracious, and Solomon had the option to stay," he said. "Solomon didn't have a great year, and I thought he played quite a bit for the year he had. He has some great possibilities for next year and has already heard from a couple of majors and a ton of midmajors."
Parghalava's decision had been anticipated since the Bulls added guard Mike Mercer, a midyear transfer from Georgia. Parghalava committed to USF in November and would have signed during the early signing period, but his paperwork was held up in his native country of Georgia in eastern Europe.
Paul Swanson, his coach at Pensacola Junior College, said Parghalava had not played as well as expected this season, and Heath had told them two weeks ago that if he had other college options, it might be best to go in another direction.
"Sash didn't have the season he wanted. Coach Heath basically said if you've got something else, they were going to have to recruit over him, that they had an opportunity to take another player," Swanson said. "Sash understood, and he's OK with it. He's a good player, but he didn't have the year he wanted."
Swanson said Hawaii and Saint Louis (with Rick Majerus) are now among the top options for Parghalava, who averaged about 13 points this season but saw his turnovers increase as defenses focused more on stopping him.
Heath now has three scholarships available for the spring signing period, with two likely going to frontcourt players to help offset the graduation of center Kentrell Gransberry. The third could stay in the backcourt, with USF in the mix for talented recruits like Jeremie Simmons of Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan.
-- Gransberry, hopeful of being USF's second NBA draft pick in three seasons, has been invited to the Portsmouth Invitational, one of the league's top pre-draft showcase events next month. He'll have a chance to solidify his chances to be drafted there, with the potential to earn a spot in the league's pre-draft camp in Orlando as well. Gransberry also has signed with Joel Bell, the agent who also represents former USF center Solomon Jones, now with the Atlanta Hawks.