When I wrote about Jermaine Marshall’s departure a few weeks ago, one player that I specifically pointed out that would help ease the loss was incoming freshman Geno Thorpe. On Sunday, I was fortunate to see Thorpe play in-person in the Mary Kline Classic, a charity basketball event that raised money for brain cancer research.
The event included an underclassmen game, a slam dunk contest, a three-point contest and an upperclassmen game. Thorpe scored 20 points on his way to earning MVP honors of the upperclassmen game. Thorpe played against some very highly touted recruits and a bunch of the players that he faced are going to be of the same caliber that he will see in the Big Ten.
Thorpe played with five-star Cincinnati signee Jermaine Lawrence, four-star UConn signee Kentan Facey, four-star St. John’s signee Rysheed Jordan and others. One other notable teammate of Thorpe’s was former Penn State commit and Providence signee Brandon Austin. And some notable players that Thorpe faced were four-star Syracuse signee Tyler Roberson, four-star Memphis signee Kuran Iverson, four-star Illinois signee Austin Colbert, among others.
Like usual, Thorpe displayed great on-ball defense and drove through traffic in the paint at will. He showed the ability to handle the ball, run the point and find open teammates. But he also showed the ability to score and weave his way to the rim. Thorpe has prototypical point guard size but he really is a combo guard. Having a year to learn under and play with Tim Frazier will only make him better.
I don’t want to look too far ahead, but the eventual back court duo of Thorpe and 2014 recruit Isaiah Washington is going to be a fun one to watch. But before that happens, I’m very much looking forward to seeing Thorpe play this upcoming season and helping to fill the void left by Jermaine Marshall.
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