The comparison is too easy. Geno Thorpe: the second coming of Andrew White. Both are graduate transfers, can shoot from deep, etc. For Orange fans, this seems like fantastic news. White was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season. However, there are some clear differences between Thorpe and White, but that doesn’t mean they both can’t have the same impact on the SU program.
For starters, White and Thorpe play different positions. White was a 6-foot-7 swingman, while Thorpe stands at just 6-foot-4. The USF transfer not only can play the wing, but also saw time at point guard with the Bulls, which makes his presence even more vital if Frank Howard struggles again this season. We saw last season how the Orange clearly do not want to force Tyus Battle into the floor general role, which makes Thorpe a better, more experienced safety net over incoming freshman Howard Washington in case things go south for Howard.
Offensively, Thorpe was a 37.5 percent shooter from deep last season, which would lead returning Orange players. White was a fair amount better at a 40.3 percent clip. However, while Thorpe may be viewed as one of SU’s best three-point shooters, he actually does not take nearly as many triples as the returning Syracuse cast. Amongst consistent Orange starters last season, only Taurean Thompson took fewer threes than Thorpe. The Pittsburgh native’s game primarily focuses on getting to the rim. Less than 30 percent of his field goal attempts came from behind the arc, while White attempted more than 60 percent of his shots from deep. Thorpe has a good first step thanks to his quickness and also uses that to his advantage in transition.
The three point shooting void left by White, Tyler Lydon and John Gillon may not be solved after all. That burden could fall heavily on the shoulders of Tyus Battle and perhaps even Marek Dolezaj, which could be problematic for a team that is losing nearly 75 percent of its three point production.
While Thorpe is not the second coming of Andrew White, that does not necessarily mean his fingerprint on the SU program can’t be the same. However, it will happen in a different fashion.