We’ve been wondering for what seems like months how the Syracuse basketball roster would shake out as we head into 2017-18, and now we’ve got a complete picture with the addition of graduate transfer Geno Thorpe. Thorpe, a 6-foot-4 combo guard who played last season at South Florida, takes the 11th and final scholarship for the upcoming season after committing to the Orange on a visit this week.
The Pittsburgh native, who started his career at Penn State, chose the Orange over his hometown Panthers. Last season, Thorpe averaged better than 15 points-per-game while dishing out 4.6 assists, and shot 37.5% from three point range and about 85% from the free throw line.
With the addition of Thorpe, the Orange head into the upcoming season with a four-guard rotation consisting of Tyus Battle, Frank Howard, Howard Washington, and Thorpe. While Washington might be a year or two away from being a big contributor, that’s still the most guard depth that the Orange have boasted in several seasons – a major reason why Thorpe’s addition was so crucial. He adds some flexibility to the lineup, as well as another long athlete to put at the top of the zone.
More importantly, however, is the fact that he’s another shooter for Jim Boeheim. With Tyler Lydon, Andrew White, and John Gillon all gone, Syracuse is desperate for three point threats outside of Tyus Battle. Thorpe adds that dimension to the roster (as does Washington, though again, how large a role he’s going to play as a freshman remains to be seen).
So now the roster is complete – barring any setbacks with Marek Dolezaj’s transition to the US and college basketball, of course. So, with that in mind, here’s the makeup of this year’s roster…
G: Frank Howard, Tyus Battle, Geno Thorpe, Howard Washington
F: Taurean Thompson, Matthew Moyer, Marek Dolezaj, Oshae Brissett
C: Paschal Chukwu, Bourama Sidibe
Elijah Hughes takes up the 11th scholarship as he sits out this year after transferring in from ECU. Thompson will also likely spend plenty of time at the center position, and it wouldn’t be completely surprising to see Battle get a few minutes here and there at small forward should Boeheim choose to roll with Howard, Thorpe, and Kid Mamba all on the court together at some point.
Thorpe’s a very good addition for this year, and his commitment also shuts the door on Erica Ayala – at least for the 2017 class. Ayala could still choose to reclassify to the class of 2017, of course. It would simply be to play for a school not named Syracuse, at this point.