South Florida added an experienced guard on Sunday as Penn State transfer Geno Thorpe committed to the Bulls. The 6-foot-3 Thorpe will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations, but he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining to make an impact in the AAC.
A native of Pittsburgh, Thorpe appeared in 34 games during the 2014-15 season and played 24.3 minutes per game. Thorpe averaged 8.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game for the Nittany Lions while his shooting percentage dipped to 39 percent from the field. While Thorpe has struggled as a 3-point shooter at the college level — shooting 30 percent in both seasons at Penn State — he did improve a lot from the free-throw line as a sophomore, increasing his percentage to 83 percent from 69 percent as a freshman.
Head coach Orlando Antigua has hit the transfer market hard to bring talent into South Florida. Besides Thorpe, South Florida has also landed Maryland transfer Roddy Peters and Gonzaga transfer Angel Nunez in the last few months.
Former Penn State guard Geno Thorpe decided to transfer this offseason after two seasons in the Big Ten. The 6-foot-3 Thorpe will take visits to four schools. According to a report from Jon Rothstein at CBSSports.com, Thorpe is looking to visit USF, St. Joseph’s, Butler and Nevada.
During his sophomore season at Penn State, Thorpe played a little over 24.3 minutes per game but saw his shooting percentages drop as he averaged 8.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Thorpe shot 39 percent from the field after 55 percent as a freshman and his 3-point accuracy stayed at 30 percent.
Miami, UMass and Duquesne also remain in the recruiting picture for Thorpe and he has to sit out for a season before getting two more years of eligibility.
With guard D.J. Newbill out of eligibility, Penn State’s backcourt rotation would be without a key piece in 2015-16. Thursday evening head coach Patrick Chambers announced that another member of that rotation will finish his college career elsewhere.
Geno Thorpe, who averaged 8.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per contest as a sophomore in 2014-15, will transfer. Thorpe started 17 of the Nittany Lions’ 34 games, ranking fourth on the team in minutes per game (24.3 mpg). His departure means that Penn State currently has just one upperclassman in its backcourt, rising senior Devin Foster.
“We thank Geno for his two years at Penn State and wish him well,” Chambers said in the release.
Foster played in just 19 games last season, with rising sophomore Shep Garner (9.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.3 apg) being Penn State’s most productive perimeter returnee. Fellow rising sophomore Isaiah Washington also returns, and Penn State adds Oak Hill Academy product Josh Reaves to the rotation.