With Syracuse’s current lack of recruits in the Class of 2023 in addition to the uncertainty of the transfer portal, we can’t help but wonder what is in store for Judah Mintz’s future. The freshman point guard has dazzled with his athleticism and explosive first step this season, so much so that he is on the radar of NBA scouts. Make no mistake, Mintz will be in the NBA when he is done with college basketball, regardless of if it’s after this season or next. We’re going to tell you (in the most unbiased manner possible) why he should wait.
As talented as Mintz is, his game still has glaring flaws. The freshman has started all 24 of SU’s contests to the tune of a crisp 9-46 from beyond the arc. Yikes. Today’s NBA is predicated on the ability to knock down the three-point shot, and Mintz does not have that ability right now. Another year of college basketball to develop the threat to shoot from deep would be huge for his future. Additionally, there have been too many instances this season where Mintz’s athleticism has gotten the better of him down the stretch, forcing a bad shot or coughing the ball up. The final possession of the Miami game is a screaming example of both. The potential is there, but it is still very raw. Another year of college basketball would help fix that.
Next, Syracuse currently sits at 14-10 and 7-6 in ACC play. While those numbers aren’t mortifying by any means, they won’t impress many scouts. That being said, it’s clear that Mintz’s chemistry with his teammates has grown through the season. Barring any movement in the transfer portal, the current freshmen class is in a position to shine next year. That rings especially true for Mintz assuming both Joe Girard and Jesse Edwards bring their collegiate careers to an end. As for his teammates, both Justin Taylor and Chris Bell have shown flashes of brilliance this year (significantly more than what Benny Williams showed his freshman campaign), Maliq Brown has come on strong as of late, and Quadir Copeland is a ball of energy. A ton of potential lies inside this group’s core, and Mintz has the opportunity to lead it. Wouldn’t that help bolster his draft stock?
Finally, if you think about the multitude of close losses the Orange have this year (St. John’s, Bryant, Pitt, Miami, UNC, AND UVA at home), in an alternate universe this is an entirely different season. When you have that many losses like that, it’s a product of a young team that is both still gelling and getting used to the intensity of ACC basketball. Mintz is no exception to that, and it has shown. If you think the ACC is tough, boy do we have news for you. The NBA is 100 times tougher. If Mintz shows next season that he is fully acclimated to ACC play, then we can start thinking about going pro.
There haven’t been many treats watching Syracuse Men’s Basketball this season, but Mintz has been one of them, and we can’t say enough about his future. It is beyond bright, but it will reach its full potential if he plays one more season of college hoops.