With Syracuse basketball’s regular season getting underway in less than two weeks, the preseason awards and accolades are coming out, and to the surprise of no one in Central New York, Judah Mintz is heaping praise from people across the country, including the prestigious Bob Cousy Award, where he was one of 20 players named to the watch list for the best point guard in the country.
On top of that, national experts are not only recognizing him as a potential draft prospect after he decided to come back for a second season at SU, but as someone who with an improved perimeter shot, can move up in the first round, and should be aided by playing under Adrian Autry and with JJ Starling in the backcourt. Here’s what Sam Vecenie of The Athletic had to say about Mintz:
“One of the most productive freshmen in college hoops last year, Mintz tested the NBA Draft waters before deciding to return. He averaged 16.3 points and 4.6 assists for a not-particularly-good Syracuse team. However, the tape shows that Mintz has some real juice. Long known as a scorer throughout his high school career, Mintz’s ability to pass and make plays has really improved. His vision was terrific last season, dishing out some creative looks while posting a near 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. On top of it, his ability to finish from the midrange and on the interior was quite strong, displaying a bevy of fun running floaters and touch shots. The key for Mintz is becoming a terrific 3-point shooter. If that happens, it’s much easier to see him become the kind of player who can be an All-American and an NBA Draft pick. But the tools outside of the shooting are there on offense, and he’ll have an awesome running partner in the backcourt with him in former five-star recruit J.J. Starling, who comes to the Orange in Adrian Autry’s first season from Notre Dame.”
Vecenie did have Mintz 20th on the rankings, but that still is high praise for a guy who came into last season with a lot of question marks after his de-commitment from Pittsburgh and surprise pledge to the Orange. Now, he is the most exciting player to watch at SU since Tyus Battle, at least, and his return is similar to Battle’s after he led Syracuse to the Sweet 16 in 2018.
Now, Mintz did not have that kind of postseason success, but both guys were touted as NBA players after their big seasons and decided to come back for another year to improve their games, much to the delight of SU fans. Mintz has the power and resources to become a potential lottery pick if everything goes right, it’s just about if he can do it. Syracuse fans will only have to wait a little while longer to find out.