Geno Thorpe, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Home/HS: Pittsburgh, PA / Shaler High School
Position: PG / SG
AAU: NJ Playaz
Weight: 175 LB
Starz 'n Sheetz
Stars: 3 star, #135 overall in Rivals150 for 2013
Offer sheet: Wisconsin, Seton Hall, Kansas State, St. Joseph's, Pittsburgh, Rutgers
The Recruit Scoop broke the unexpected news. Geno made his commitment this morning to coach Chambers after Pat called him at 6 AM to wish him a happy birthday. Considering everything that's going on in the university right now, I think it's safe to safe this scandal isn't going to slow down the basketball team.
This is big on so many levels. First, Thorpe is a PA kid. All this time we thought Chambers was going to make in-roads into Philadelphia, but his first in-state kid hails from Pittsburgh. It feels great to steal a kid from the city of Pittsburgh right under the Panthers' noses. If it wasn't going to be Pittsburgh, Geno looked destined for Wisconsin to me. One of Bo Ryan's assistants is a Pittsburgh native who has great connections in the area (Lamont Paris). Geno had built a great relationship with Paris and was expected to visit at the end of October. He was also expected to visit Kansas State, as well. I didn't think too much of it when those visits were cancelled. Maybe I should have.
Thorpe visited the PSU campus for the first time on October 1st (which was a bye week, something unheard of in previous eras of PSU hoops). Andrew Dzurita caught up with him at 247 about it afterwards and he offered a glowing report. He is scheduled to visit this weekend for a return trip, but this time he'll be visiting as a commitment. I can't stress enough how great of a job this is by Coach Chambers and Brian Daly. Penn State wasn't even on Thorpe's radar 4 months ago as the July period got under way.
If you do some googling, you might come across some stories about Thorpe's desire to leave Shaler HS over this past summer. He spent his freshmen season at Shady Side Academy before transferring to Shaler last year. This summer it was rumored he would be transferring to an academy in New Jersey, following in a former teammate's footsteps (Mike Young, they were teammates at Shady Side). Towards the end of the summer, however, Thorpe announced he was staying put at Shaler.
Geno Thorpe is an extremely athletic combo guard who's been recruited as a PG. As of right now, he will be taking Tim Frazier's scholarship in 2013-2014. I don't think anyone expects Thorpe to be the only member of the 2013 class, however. Here's some more press to get a feel for Thorpe's game:
Thorpe is a 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard who ran this summer with the NJ Playaz 16-U AAU program. He has the potential to be a high-flying back court player capable of highlight reel dunks. Thorpe is at his best with the ball in his hands and he shows both a high level passing ability and feel for the game. He will be an excellent piece for coach Chambers to begin building his program and Thorpe, who has long told NBE that playing where his family can see him play was important to him, feels the situation is best for him.
The rising junior has an amazing ability to get to the basket at will, yet still distribute the ball like a point guard. He is quick as can be and has an amazing motor that most point guards need to become high-major players. His defense is there too, but if he uses his motor on defense as much as he does on offense, Thorpe could be one of the most talented players in his class. With an inconsistent mid-range jump shot and a lack in strength, these two areas must be addressed before he hits college. While he is not the biggest point guard in the pack, Thorpe still has an amazing ability to get to the cup and either draw a foul or finish against a much bigger and stronger defender.
Thorpe has good size, is a pretty good athlete, and has been impressive in summer viewings. He's not a top 100 player, but definitely someone who will be in the mix for the discussion as time goes on.
This won't end the recruiting in the 2013 class. In fact, 2013 PG Terrence Samuel from NYC will be visiting this weekend as well. He is also a PG, but with how much youthful depth is in the frontcourt right now, I'm expecting nothing but guards for the short-term. I hope Thorpe works on Samuel because believe it or not, if they both come here, that will be two Big East caliber PGs plucked away from Big East territory.