As Pitt continues to rebuild its 2017 roster, Kevin Stallings and his staff will be bringing in a former WPIAL star to see if he’s interested in finishing out his final year of college back home in Pittsburgh.
Former Shaler star guard Geno Thorpe decided in March that he wouldn’t be returning to South Florida for his final season. Despite leading the Bulls in scoring last season (15.2 PPG), Thorpe will graduate in June and play elsewhere in 2017.
One of the many programs that’s reached out to this talented guard is Pitt, and Thorpe tells Pittsburgh Sports Now that he will travel to Pittsburgh in early May to come speak with Stallings and the Pitt coaches.
“Right now I’m dealing with a lot of different schools all the way from the Sun Belt to the Big 12 to the Big 10 and obviously the ACC. I’m just trying to take my time with everything to make sure I make the right decision for myself,” said Thorpe.
“I am looking to win and looking to be as successful as possible in my last year but I want to make sure that the situation I go to basketball wise it’s the right fit for me.”
So could Thorpe’s hometown school be the right fit?
“I’ve been speaking with Pitt assistant Jason Richards almost every other day. I just talked with Coach Stallings 3-4 days ago and we had a good conversation over the phone. We talked about the upcoming visit but for me it’s not really a visit because I’ve been going and hanging out at the University of Pittsburgh since the eight grade. I’ve known everyone that’s played there. I’ve been surrounded by so many Pitt basketball players my whole life and started playing basketball. So, this isn’t about the visit it’s more about a face to face conversation that Coach Stallings and I need to have,” said Thorpe.
“They’ve let me know that they could use someone of my abilities as far as handling the ball and putting it in the basket. As far as anything else, that’s just something that we’ll have to talk about face-to-face, me and Coach Stallings. But, they’ve let me know that they would love to have me, I’m from Pittsburgh and wearing Pittsburgh across my chest for my last year of college basketball would be ideal.”
This will be Thorpe’s third college team after originally signing with and playing for Penn State out of high school. I asked Thorpe when he originally selected Penn State, was Jamie Dixon and Pitt even a consideration?
“They were but I felt that Penn State showed more of a personal interest in me. Like I said, I’ve been around Pitt since I was in eighth grade, I’ve known Brandin Knight my whole basketball career and met Jamie Dixon as a ninth grader. I met him and Michael Young together when I was 15 years old. So, yeah Pitt was in the running but I felt that Penn State had more of an interest so I choose them,” said Thorpe.
As we know, Pitt seems to be in a rebuild mode for the upcoming season. Could that be a factor in Thorpe’s decision or could he look at it as an opportunity to play Stalling’s offense which is very player friendly?
“I think it’s in the middle. I think that’s something that Coach and I would have to talk about as far as where they’re going for next year. I’m from Pittsburgh and I know that Jamel and Michael are graduation and Cam is transferring so all that is something that I’ll be talking about with the coaches. I’d have to see what he wants and then see if that’s something that I’m looking for then it could be a match. But if not, then it is what it is and I’d have to move on.”
Thorpe asked if I’d close out the story putting “RIP Austin Critchlow” a long-time friend of his from Shaler.