Syracuse Basketball: Projected starting rotation 2.0 for the 2022-23 season

Syracuse basketball, Carmelo Anthony (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Syracuse basketball, Carmelo Anthony (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images) /

The calendar recently turned to October, which means that Syracuse basketball will tip off its 2022-23 regular season in about a month’s time.

Now I know that we’re all knee-deep in excitement over what Syracuse football and other Orange sports have done this fall, but I’m also really pumped for the upcoming hoops campaign.

The ‘Cuse seeks to rebound from a disappointing 16-17 stanza in 2021-22, and the present Syracuse basketball roster features an intriguing blend of veterans and underclassmen.

Personally, I feel like the Orange in 2022-23 will be much more athletic than a year ago. Head coach Jim Boeheim has said that he may employ man-to-man defense from time to time.

Even with a lot of young guys on the roster, I’m hopeful that Syracuse basketball will be better on the defensive end in 2022-23, although we’ll have to see how well the team fares shooting the rock from long distance.

We’ve got an updated projected starting rotation for Syracuse basketball this coming season.

Okay, so I don’t pretend to have any inside information as to what starting rotation Boeheim might utilize to commence 2022-23 in early November, but I have read a lot of prognostications from national pundits, experts who cover Syracuse basketball closely, fans and others.

Here’s what I’ve got as far as my projected starting rotation for the Orange in 2022-23, at least to start the season.

Point Guard, Judah Mintz
Boeheim said in at least one recent media report that 2022 four-star guard Judah Mintz will likely start at point guard. The 6-foot-3 Mintz, a term ago, was a stand-out for the powerhouse Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

In a recent tweet, CBS Sports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein noted that Mintz is poised to start at point guard. I’m really high on Mintz – he can score at all three levels on offense, and he gets a lot of praise from national recruiting analysts and scouts for his defensive prowess.

Shooting Guard, Joe Girard III
Rothstein’s tweet said that the Orange coaching staff is “committed to playing Joe Girard at SG this year.” Boeheim has also said that he and his assistants are likely moving Girard over to shooting guard.

I’m all for this. By and large, Girard has primarily played point guard for the ‘Cuse, but I personally believe that his more natural position is at the No. 2 spot on the floor, not as a point guard.

As a shooting guard, I really feel like the 6-foot-1 Girard is going to shine as a senior.

Forward, Benny Williams
Which two Syracuse basketball players end up starting at the forward positions is interesting to me, and probably the biggest “unknowns” at this point.

It’s natural to assume that Benny Williams, a sophomore, would get a starting nod at forward, after fellow forwards Cole Swider, a senior, and Jimmy Boeheim, a graduate student, departed the Hill following the 2021-22 season.

The 6-foot-8 Williams didn’t play a lot as a highly touted freshman, but Jim Boeheim said earlier this year that he expects big things out of Williams in his sophomore stint in Central New York.

Here’s the thing, though. Rothstein’s recent tweet said that freshmen forwards Chris Bunch and Justin Taylor, both 2022 four-star players, “will be in (the) mix to start.”

I’m not sure exactly how to read this. Will the 6-foot-7 Bunch and the 6-foot-6 Taylor be competing for one of the forward spots, or could both of them be in line to potentially start, with Williams possibly coming off of the bench?

Taylor is a shooting guard/small forward, so he could certainly play some at the guard position for the ‘Cuse as well. I still think that Williams will start, with either Taylor or Bunch at the other starting forward spot.

Forward, Justin Taylor
So if I’m right (and I’m usually not) about Williams getting a starting nod, then my assumption is either Taylor or Bunch could start at the other forward position.

To me, this seems like a toss-up. Then again, I am not getting to watch either of them in pre-season practices or other workouts, but based on Rothstein’s tweet, Taylor or Bunch is in line to start.

I’ll go with Taylor here. He spent his final season before coming to the Hill at the juggernaut IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Bunch suited up as a senior for another really good squad, the Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah.

Whoever starts is one thing, but which Syracuse basketball guys are playing in crunch time is more important to me. Also, I’m a big fan of 2022 three-star power forward Maliq Brown, whose physical presence, defensive skills and rebounding shouldn’t be overlooked.

The 6-foot-9 Brown was tremendous as a senior in 2021-22 for the Blue Ridge School in St. George, Va. I’m excited to see him on the court.

Center, Jesse Edwards
A senior, Jesse Edwards is poised to have a strong 2022-23. He was really good as a junior before suffering a season-ending injury this past February.

As far as I can tell, he’s feeling great health-wise these days, and the 6-foot-11 Edwards should be a huge contributor for Syracuse basketball this coming term on both ends of the floor.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Projecting Orange’s overall record during 2022-23. dark