Arguably two of Syracuse’s three most important players last season came via the graduate transfer market and the Orange are hoping to replicate that success this year with the addition of former South Florida and Penn State guard Geno Thorpe. Thorpe, who was reportedly deciding between Syracuse, Pitt and Seton Hall, took his official visit to the Hill Friday and made his decision official to join Boeheim’s squad.
Thorpe is 6-foot-4 and played both guard positions in his one season in Tampa and two in Happy Valley, averaging just over 15 points per game during his season with the Bulls. Needless to say, the addition of anyone who can play either guard position is a huge get for the Orange who lost both John Gillon and Andrew White, who ate up major minutes at the two positions. Thorpe’s commitment will mean that both Frank Howard and Tyus Battle will have someone capable of replacing them should they need rest or are not playing well. That is the most minimal impact that Thrope could have.
The Orange will have a total of four guards on the roster, barring another addition in this cycle. Both Battle and Howard return and Syracuse is also bringing in freshman Howard Washington. One would assume that Tyus Battle holds onto his starting spot from last season but Thorpe could very well challenge Frank Howard for the starting point guard position.
Oh and there is one more thing that he brings that might sound familiar; he shoots the three ball and does it pretty well. Last season at USF, Thorpe hit 37.5% of his shots from beyond the arc. For comparison, Syracuse’s two grad transfers, Gillon and White shot 41.9% and 40.3% from three last season, respectively. Battle shot under Thorpe’s mark, at 36.6%. Syracuse’s top three three-point shooters from last season (Gillon, White, and Tyler Lydon) are all gone and the Orange will need someone to pick up the scoring to take an offense that was mediocre at best last season and make it competitive in the best conference in the land. Whatever he can contribute, Syracuse fans will welcome from Thorpe.