Orange Fizz


Judah Mintz’s Return Gives Syracuse Hope Again

After letting the news marinate for more than 24 hours, it still does not feel real that Judah Mintz is coming back to Syracuse for his sophomore season. It seemed like nearly a lock he would turn pro, no matter where he was going to get drafted, that his return signifies something so much more than just that SU will be more fun to watch next season. It’s that something is building in Central New York, and something is building fast.

In an offseason full of more positives than negatives, with highlights such as recruiting wins in the transfer portal (JJ Starling, Chance Westry, and Naheem McLeod), and high school (Donnie Freeman), the momentum of Adrian Autry and his assistant coaches is like a giant wave, and players are jumping on it before it gets too big.

Mintz signifies a return that is bigger than all of the additions, and any negatives (Joe Girard III and Jesse Edwards, among others who left) are immediately forgotten about because the most exciting player to wear a Syracuse jersey since Tyus Battle is going to play a second season in the Dome, and that’s something to get excited about.

Mintz offers so many different skills with his immense talent level. His ability to get to the basket and draw contact to earn trips to the free throw line. His improvement as a passer throughout his freshman season ended with Mintz averaging nearly five assists per game. His level of activity on defense which had him stealing the ball multiple times per game on a nightly basis. But, above all, it’s the highlight plays that make the biggest impact. The half-court alley-oops, the steals that turn to windmill dunks, and the fancy dribble moves on his way to the basket, among other things.

Mintz has plenty of things to work on to improve his draft standing, a clear reason why he did not stay in the 2023 draft, and is instead going to use the year and get ready to fully enter the draft in 2024. But, despite his shooting flaws, his turnovers in crunch time, and that one time he got ejected, Mintz is one of the three most exciting guards to play for Syracuse in the ACC era, which is now 10 years old.

Syracuse has hope for next season, and making the NCAA Tournament should be this team’s goal, at minimum. They have the talent to do so, now it’s just about coaching and execution. There are still so many questions to be answered in the coming months, but having Mintz back in the fold makes things so much easier, and so much more fun to watch. After a down-year with attendance last season, Mintz’s return should provide a bounce back in that category as well. There are so many things to love about Judah Mintz coming back to Syracuse, but above all else is that the Orange have hope, and hope is a dangerous thing.

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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