Verdejo expected to play despite concussion
Senior guard Jesus Verdejo is expected to play in Tuesday's home game against DePaul despite suffering a concussion in Saturday's loss at West Virginia that caused him to pass out in the shower after the game.
"We do think he'll be available for us (Tuesday)," coach Stan Heath said. "We'll know a little bit more later on, but his safety comes first. That's huge for us if Jesus can go for us."
Verdejo, who has started every game for the Bulls this season, suffered the concussion when he landed on a West Virginia player, with one of his teeth drawing blood from the player's head, coach Stan Heath said. Verdejo has not practiced and will not practice Monday, but is expected to be cleared by doctors to play against DePaul.
Heath, who said he was "a little concerned" about Verdejo, said he wasn't aware of the severity of the injury until Verdejo passed out after the game. Verdejo came out of the game so trainers could stop the bleeding in his mouth, but otherwise he hadn't asked to be taken out of the game. Heath said it's believed to be the first concussion sustained by Verdejo, who was a junior Gold Gloves boxer in Puerto Rico before taking up basketball. He also underwent a root canal Monday on the damaged tooth.
"I remember being in the huddle, talking to him, and he kept hitting his head, shaking it like this," Heath said. "I just figured that was 'Zeus.' It's pretty tough on his part. It's inspiring how much he wanted to win and help his teammates out there on the court."
If Verdejo cannot play, Heath said he would likely start freshman guards Justin Leemow or B.J. Daniels.
-- USF guard Dominique Jones was named to the Big East weekly honor roll after averaging 28.5 points in losses to No. 1 Pittsburgh and West Virginia. Jones had 35 points in Saturday's 62-59 loss to the Mountaineers, his most ever in a Big East game and one off the career high he set against Iona last month.