Syracuse Basketball: Judah Mintz outplaying his 4-star ranking, scout says

Syracuse basketball, Judah Mintz (Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Judah Mintz (Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports) /

Judah Mintz came to the Hill as part of a solid six-member 2022 recruiting class for Syracuse basketball.

The 6-foot-3 point guard, after a standout senior year at a powerhouse high-school program, was a consensus four-star prospect in the 2022 cycle. The primary recruiting services rated him as high as No. 36 and as low as No. 82 nationally within the 2022 class.

Personally, I thought that Judah Mintz was underrated in his cycle, although once he stepped foot on the Orange campus, those 2022 national ratings became fairly irrelevant. And to date in the 2022-23 season for the ‘Cuse, Mintz has undeniably proven one of the top freshmen around the country.

This past Wednesday night, when Syracuse basketball defeated Florida State on the road, 76-67, Mintz was electric in the second half, showcasing his stellar ability to penetrate the lane and finish around the rim through contact. He tallied 16 points and six assists versus the Seminoles.

Syracuse basketball point guard Judah Mintz is exceeding expectations in his freshman campaign, a top expert says.

As Syracuse basketball (15-10, 8-6 in the ACC) prepares to host No. 22 N.C. State on February 14 at the JMA Wireless Dome, Mintz at present is second on the team in scoring, first in assists and first in steals.

Through 25 games, per ESPN statistics, he is averaging 32.3 minutes, 15.4 points, 4.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.4 turnovers per game, while connecting on 44.0 percent from the field, 19.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 73.8 percent from the charity stripe.

It’s no secret that Judah Mintz has to improve his 3-point shooting percentage, but in the bigger picture, he has really shined so far as a freshman for the Orange. When I penned this column, within the Atlantic Coast Conference, he was in the top 20 in scoring, the top 10 in assists, No. 1 in steals and hovering around the top 10 in assist-to-turnover ratio.

Adam Finkelstein, 247Sports’ director of scouting, recently published a piece where he looked at some 2022 four-star players who have exceeded their rankings based on their performances at this juncture as freshmen in college.

"Finkelstein, one of the top scouts out there, included Mintz in this article. The 247Sports scout wrote in part that “Mintz was a trendy pick to outplay his ranking when the season began and it was immediately evident that he would have a significant opportunity from day one. Not only is Mintz getting the chance to start and play a signature role, but he’s also been utilized as the team’s primary point guard – despite not playing the position consistently in high school. … There have been some growing pains along the way – specifically with his outside shooting – but his scoring and playmaking on both ends of the floor has been impressive.”"

In a separate recent story, Finkelstein went into even greater detail regarding Mintz’s 2022 national ranking as compared to how he is playing for Syracuse basketball in the current stanza. I’d highly recommend carving out some time for this evaluation.

Throughout 2022-23, various experts have included Judah Mintz in their early mock projections for the 2023 NBA Draft, although I’m not convinced that he’s a one-and-done prospect. We’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.

Mintz, who is from Fort Washington, Md., and was a star senior for the juggernaut Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., has performed with some inconsistency in 2022-23, which is to be expected as a collegiate newbie. To me, though, he is also one of the premier freshmen nationwide.

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Prolific-scoring 4-star eyes visits and SU may be one. dark