How Does Geno Thorpe’s Departure Impact Syracuse Basketball?

South Florida’s Geno Thorpe in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Friday, Dec 01, 2017 at 5:26 pm by Sports Editor

Zachary Lang

Syracuse Basketball is now one guard short with graduate transfer Geno Thorpe leaving the team for reported personal reasons. While this may seem to hurt the Orange, it may have little consequence.

Last year’s team set expectations very high for graduate players: guard Andrew White III led SU in scoring while John Gillon eventually ousted Frank Howard for the starting point guard position. Geno Thorpe was expected to be the next player to fall in line, but did not live up to the precedent

Thorpe led South Florida last season in minutes, points, assists and steals per game. This season, he has yet to even reach the mark of last season’s average of 15.1 PPG; his closest attempt came against Texas Southern when he scored 13 points for the Orange, all of which came in the first half of the contest. Whether or not the ankle injury that sidelined him for an exhibition game had a role to play in his declined stat line, Geno’s minutes were down significantly. Against Maryland, the first non-conference statement game for the Orange, Thorpe was held scoreless in just four minutes of play.

Overall, this will have little effect on the team stat-wise compared to the psychological fallout. Freshman Howard Washington will most likely receive increased minutes off the bench, but the guard-play is controlled by Frank Howard and Tyus Battle almost exclusively. As for the mindset of the team, it cannot be good. The team was blindsided with Thorpe’s decision to leave, similar to the departure of forward Taurean Thompson in the offseason. Now, the Orange are on a confined plane while Thorpe is reportedly on his way home. With arguably the biggest game of Syracuse’s non-conference schedule just a day away against No. 2 Kansas, the team is now focused on something other than winning.