Orange Fizz


How will Judah Mintz be remembered at Syracuse?

Photo courtesy of @Cuse_MBB on X

March 31st, 2022. An early spring day in Syracuse had just gotten a little springier. Judah Mintz became the sixth and final member of Jim Boeheim’s final recruiting class at SU, and the cherry on top. The 54th overall player in the class was joining the Orange, and fans were excited because of the potential of the entire class, but for the player that was rated the highest, coming out of the school that produced Carmelo Anthony.

It was a very mismatched roster. Six freshmen, a sophomore (Benny Williams), and seniors Joe Girard III, Jesse Edwards, and Symir Torrence. But, early on, it was clear Mintz had the goods to get the fanbase excited. I remember being at the games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn against Richmond and St. John’s when the freshman guard had 16 and 20 points respectively, getting out in transition and electrifying a crowd that after the game he said was one the reasons to play at Syracuse, to play in New York (albeit in Brooklyn).

He continued his standout freshman year into ACC play, and by February, I was so in on his potential and the excitement value he brought to Syracuse that I wrote a piece titled “Syracuse’s Most Fun Players to Watch in the Last 10 Years” and the list was Mintz, Tyus Battle, and Tyler Ennis. That’s where we all were and the impact Mintz was making as a true freshman on a mismatched team.

It was a turbulent end to the season for several reasons, and Mintz entered the NBA Draft while keeping his options open, and at the last minute decided to return for his sophomore season at Syracuse. This got everyone excited once again, hopeful of what could be during Adrian Autry’s first season as head coach.

But, as the year went on, it was clear, there was a disconnect, it was not going to be the dream season everyone hoped it was going to be for Mintz. His three-point shot was not improved, and everyone could see it. He had a tremendous statistical sophomore year, earning him All-ACC accolades, but he is just marginally better than he was as a freshman, and more of his flaws got exposed on a young team that needed a leader and didn’t have one.

Autry was getting visibly frustrated with a lot of his players, but on multiple occasions towards the end of the season had to sit Mintz down to calm him down after he picked up multiple technical fouls over the season’s final few games. It was clear where this was heading. As soon as the season ended, everyone was saying Mintz was gone. Autry is trying to put his stamp on things in his second offseason as head coach, and he clearly is doing things differently than last year, when continuity was the theme. This year, it’s about getting older and more mature, a theme the Orange are targeting in the portal.

But, back to the question at hand. Mintz will be remembered as a tremendous player, whose electric dunks and uncanny ability to draw contact left opponents dumbfounded, but there is this feeling of what could have been despite his existent talent. He did not have the best supporting cast(s) around him for his skillset, but that wasn’t everything. Mintz will be remembered as a fascinating talent but leaves Syracuse with a lot more questions than answers about how his game translates moving forward, and the actual impact he made at SU.

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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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