May 27, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
More than three weeks after announcing his transfer from Kansas, two potential suitors have reportedly expressed interest in the rising senior point guard Naadir Tharpe.
Providence and UMass are both pursuing Tharpe, according to a report from Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports on Tuesday afternoon. Tharpe, the Worcester, Massachusetts native, announced his transfer on May 1, citing he desire to be closer to his daughter.
After both endured extended NCAA tournament droughts, the Friars and Minutemen each earned a bid in 2014. However, Providence and UMass were eliminated in the Round of 64, ending the careers their respective senior lead guards, Bryce Cotton and Chaz Williams. Last week, Providence lost its other starting guard, Josh Fortune, to transfer.
Since the cause of Tharpe’s transfer is family related, he could apply for a waiver to be eligible immediately. If that were the case, and he were to enroll at UMass, he would fight for minutes in a back court which includes West Virginia transfer Jabarie Hinds, and returning guards Derrick Gordon and Trey Davis. If Tharpe had to wait until 2015 to play his last year of college ball, all three of those guards would still be on the roster while Rivals 150 floor general Luwane Pipkins joins the program.
Providence has to replace its starting back court from this past season, however, Kris Dunn, the top point guard in the Class of 2012 who missed all but four games due to a nagging shoulder injury, can make an impact for the Friars if healthy. Three-star commit Kyron Cartwright will provide Providence with point guard depth its needed the past few seasons.
Borzello also mentioned the possibility of Tharpe forgoing his remaining year of eligibility, and pursuing a pro career overseas.
The 5-foot-11 Tharpe averaged 8.5 points, 5.0 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game for the Jayhawks in 2013-2014.
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