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Syracuse men's basketball 2017-18 player previews: Geno Thorpe

Welcome to the team, Mr. Thorpe! Expectations are high.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at South Florida
What will Geno Thorpe bring to the Syracuse Orange this year?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last year's Syracuse Orange men's basketball team showcased multiple impact transfers. From leading scorer Andrew White III, to their most clutch late-game scorer, John Gillon, the Orange were privileged to have the luxury of veteran players that they coudl trust in key situations.

This summer, the Orange didn't make as much noise on the market in terms of transfers. But college basketball’s “free agency” wasn't a complete bust as they added a dynamic scorer in USF Bulls graduate transfer Geno Thorpe.

NCAA Basketball: South Florida at Connecticut
Can Geno Thorpe thrive in coach Jim Boeheim's offensive and defensive systems?
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Thorpe will only grace the floor of the Carrier Dome for one season, but let's give him a classic TNIAAM player preview welcome.

Position: Guard

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 184 lbs

Year: Graduate

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.

High school: Shaker

Thorpe has made his way around the college basketball circuit. He started his career at Penn State, averaging 3.2 points per game as a freshman, then 8.7 as a sophomore. He transferred after his sophomore year and was played one season at USF as a redshirt junior, putting in his best effort yet.

The 6'3" guard had career-high per-game averages in points (15.1), rebounds (2.9), and assists (4.6), while also making his name known on the defensive side of the ball with 1.6 steals per game. He can stretch the defense with his three point shot, but most importantly, he's as reliable as it gets from the free throw line where he converted on 85% of his attempts last year. The increase in playing time helped Thorpe thrive last year, and this year could mean even more increases now that he's entering a situation with a lot of spots to fill.

The Orange are in need of scorers who can create for themselves, and Thorpe provides just that. His ability to play both the point and shooting guard position allows him to find easy looks at the rim and behind the arc. In coach Jim Boeheim's high volume three-point shooting offense, Thorpe will be able to penetrate the lane and find the shooters behind the arc with ease.

Not only does the 6'3" transfer provide a scoring punch, but his size and length will allow him to be a a key factor at the top of Syracuse's infamous 2-3 zone. Creating steals at the top of the zone is the key to the Orange's transition, and having a player like Thorpe who can both create the steals and finish in transition will go a long way.

So, with all those positive comments listed above, what can we really expect from Geno Thorpe this winter? Well, it may depend on what lineup coach Boeheim decides to send out there on November 10. Frank Howard and Tyus Battle are going to be the likely starting backcourt to begin the season, but that doesn't mean Thorpe won't have his fair share of opportunities to prove to the Syracuse native why he belongs.

If Thorpe comes off the bench, he can be used as an instant impact kind of player; something similar to what Dion Waiters provided the Orange back when he terrorized opposing defenses. Thorpe's dynamic skill set will allow him to play next to either Howard or Battle, but that doesn't mean he needs to hide in their shadow. Once he's on the floor, look for Thorpe to create easy opportunities for everyone on the court.

Stat Prediction: 13.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists

Don't expect Thorpe to lead this team in scoring or hit half-court buzzer beaters against ACC rivals. But you can expect him to provide offensive and defensive play-making whenever you see him in the Carrier Dome (and elsewhere) this season.