Orange Fizz


Kyle Cuffe Likely Finalizes Syracuse’s Roster, But Questions Remain

With Judah Mintz’s future still up in the air as he tests the NBA Draft waters, a sign towards what Syracuse expects him to do came seemingly out of nowhere on Thursday afternoon. Kyle Cuffe, a former Kansas guard, is transferring to Syracuse. 

Cuffe was a four star recruit in the class of 2021, the 104th overall player according to 247Sports, and the third best player in New Jersey. He is a shooting guard by trade, but is listed as a combo guard. 247 considers him a three star transfer prospect.

Cuffe redshirted on the 2021-22 Kansas team that won the national title. He only played in two games last year before tearing his MCL and PCL, leading to him missing the remainder of the season. Cuffe has played a total of six minutes of college basketball, has never scored and his only recorded stat is a rebound.

Mintz has until May 31 to pull his name out of the NBA Draft and return to Syracuse. However, Cuffe becomes Syracuse’s 12th scholarship player, which seems to point to Mintz leaving.

Syracuse’s roster breaks down like this (positions are certainly fluid between guards and forwards): 

Guards: JJ Starling, Chance Westry, Kyle Cuffe

Forwards: Benny Williams, Chris Bell, Maliq Brown, Justin Taylor, Quadir Copeland

Centers: Naheem McLeod, Mounir Hima, Peter Carey, William Patterson

While the roster seems to be set, plenty of questions remain about how good it will be. Starling is the only one who has averaged double figures at the collegiate level. Westry and Cuffe are both coming off season ending knee injuries and neither has played much college basketball. 

Bell, Brown, Taylor and Copeland all had moments last year, but none of them became consistent, reliable at any point. Williams came on towards the end of the season, but was that another one of his spurts before returning to his usual inconsistent self or was it a case of him finally finding his way?

The centers are a complete wild card. McLeod, despite his hulking 7’4 255 frame, has never been a starting center, and neither has Mounir Hima. Carey is coming off a season ending injury of his own after playing sparingly early last year, and Patterson is a true freshman.

Starling is really only the sure thing out of this group. Everyone else is a question mark. If enough of them are answered in a positive way, both with health and development, then this team can have some success. However, it’s far from a sure thing, both collectively and for each individual player.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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