Syracuse Basketball: Judah Mintz decision shows buzz isn’t always right

Syracuse basketball, Judah Mintz (Syndication: The News-Press)
Syracuse basketball, Judah Mintz (Syndication: The News-Press) /

In the weeks leading up to the commitment announcement by new Syracuse basketball 2022 commit Judah Mintz, a whole lot of speculation pointed to the four-star combo guard picking Big East Conference member DePaul.

The four finalists for the 6-foot-3 Mintz, according to media reports, were the Orange, DePaul, Wake Forest and N.C. State. Mintz, who at one time was verbally committed to Pittsburgh, took official visits to all four of these contenders.

For several weeks prior to Mintz making his collegiate destination known, the buzz surrounded DePaul. Several analysts and recruiting insiders logged predictions for Mintz in the direction of the Blue Demons.

Additionally, a contingent of ‘Cuse fans opined on social media and in chat rooms that Syracuse basketball had no shot with Judah Mintz, presumably basing their opinions on what experts were forecasting. That’s understandable.

Syracuse basketball prevailed in the recruiting battle over four-star guard Judah Mintz.

It was only a day or two before Mintz’s commitment decision that the buzz started to shift from DePaul to the Orange. And when it was time to announce, the senior at the powerhouse Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., did end up picking the ‘Cuse, giving the Orange a sixth member in its already strong 2022 class.

Interestingly enough, SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister published an interview with Judah Mintz on April 3. The new ‘Cuse commit told McAllister, who is the best in the business in my humble opinion, that he let head coach Jim Boeheim and his staff know that he was coming to the Hill “about two and a half weeks ago.”

"Regarding the rumors that he was going to commit to DePaul, Mintz said to McAllister, “I really don’t know where it started. I’m kind of used to it. People make up stuff about me all the time. It didn’t really shock me. I saw it and I was confused. It didn’t bother me or anything.”"

I’m the first to admit that I rely on information from national analysts and other recruiting insiders for many of my stories. I’m not an analyst myself, and I’m not in the inner circles of high-school prospects, nor the Syracuse basketball program.

So when the buzz appeared to be in DePaul’s favor for Mintz, I wrote about it. But even when some of my fellow ‘Cuse fans, who I would imagine have no inside information, were 100 percent certain that Mintz was going to select DePaul, I still continued to write various kinds of pieces about Mintz, because I felt the Orange still had a chance.

And some Syracuse basketball fans ripped me to shreds on social media for doing that. It’s all good. For me, I’m just happy that the ‘Cuse secured Mintz, who is ranked as high as No. 35 nationally by ESPN and is deemed a top-10 guard in the 2022 class, according to some recruiting services.

As I always like to say, when it comes to the recruiting processes and ultimate destinations of top-flight high-school players, given the transfer portal, NIL, head-coaching changes and other factors at the collegiate level, nothing appears 100 percent a sure thing these days.

So many experts felt Mintz was taking his talents to the Blue Demons. They were wrong. It happens. These national analysts and recruiting insiders are still way more plugged in than me, I’ll continue to rely on their information as context in my stories, and I’m not going to call any of them out here.

The recruiting world is often fickle and heart-breaking for fans. Social media has changed everything. I have no doubt that the last few weeks felt like a roller-coaster ride for some Syracuse basketball fans as it pertains to Mintz. It was for me.

And despite all the buzz and rumors that flew around of late and made a lot of us feel uneasy, it was the Orange that came out on top when it mattered the most. At the end, when Judah Mintz revealed his Syracuse shirt and hat.

Next. Syracuse basketball not a finalist for 5-star Baltimore forward, No. 2 junior. dark