After sophomore Center Taurean Thompson left Syracuse this past August, the addition of Geno Thorpe became that much more important for an inexperienced Orange team that would soon be, for the most part, relying on their freshman talent.
Thorpe, who spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Penn State, dominated the AAC with South Florida last season after sitting out a year due to transfer regulations. With USF, Thorpe averaged over 15 points, nearly five rebounds, three assists, and was one of the more underrated three-point shooters in college hoops. The graduate transfer then chose to play for Syracuse over Pittsburgh and Seton Hall.
Thorpe’s addition to Syracuse was supposed to solidify their depth at the guard position in case Frank Howard and Tyus Battle went down with injuries.
Prior to Syracuse’ annual Orange vs. White Scrimmage in the preseason, Thorpe suffered an ankle injury that even Jim Boeheim said took a major hit on the explosiveness Syracuse was expecting out of him.
Many expected Thorpe’s transition from South Florida to Syracuse to be seamless. It was not. The 23-year-old had a forgetful six-game stretch with the Orange, averaging just over 14 minutes per game, and six points per game. In Syracuse’ 72-70 win over Maryland this past Monday, Thorpe played just four minutes, missed his only field goal attempt, and had two turnovers.
It’s time for Howard Washington to take advantage of his opportunities moving forward.
Since Thorpe served as the primary backup guard, freshman Howard Washington, who played high school basketball with Oshae Brissett, will take his place in Syracuse’ rotation, and most likely play at least 10 minutes a game, something every Orange fan should be looking forward to.
In their 2003 National Championship rematch with Bill Self’s Jayhawks tomorrow night, the Orange will look to stay undefeated, and Washington will look to prove his worth.