Syracuse Basketball: Judah Mintz a top 5 returning point guard nationwide

Syracuse basketball, Judah Mintz (Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Judah Mintz (Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Talented point guard Judah Mintz electing to return to Syracuse basketball for his sophomore season was huge for the Orange, and I envision him contending for Atlantic Coast Conference and All-America honors in the upcoming 2023-24 campaign, which officially begins for the ‘Cuse in early November.

The 6-foot-3, 178-pound Mintz, who hails from Fort Washington, Md., and was a 2022 four-star prospect by way of the powerhouse Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., put forth a relatively strong freshman term on the Hill, in which he was named to the ACC’s All-Freshman team.

As a newbie during the 2022-23 campaign, when Syracuse basketball went 17-15 overall, Judah Mintz averaged 16.3 points, 4.6 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 2.4 turnovers per game, while hitting on 44.3 percent from the field, 75.1 percent from the charity stripe and 30.3 percent from deep.

This off-season, Mintz tested the 2023 NBA Draft waters, but he decided to come back to the Hill for presumably one more year before heading to the pro ranks. He is part of a six-deep Orange backcourt that I believe will be one of the 10 best guard groups across the country in 2023-24 and has been undervalued by some national pundits.

Syracuse basketball sophomore point guard Judah Mintz is getting a lot of preseason love.

Perhaps the two biggest areas for Mintz to refine as he gets set for his sophomore season are to cut down a bit on turnovers and become more proficient from 3-point land. As an assertive guard who drives the lane all the time, it was to be expected that, as a freshman, he would commit some turnovers, but I think he will tidy that up in 2023-24.

Regarding his shooting, in August, Jonathan Givony, a top NBA Draft analyst for ESPN, said on X that Mintz possesses “improved shot-making prowess.”

More recently, on September 28, college basketball insider Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports said on X, “Judah Mintz is showcasing a much improved outside shot. Taking and making shots with confidence. Was 30% from 3 as a freshman — 35% seems within reach as a sophomore.”

These are encouraging signs. What’s more, in a recent post on X, the account College Basketball Report posted its top 30 returning point guards for the upcoming term, and Judah Mintz arrived at No. 4 around the country.

That is an extremely high ranking, and to me, that sort of rating is well deserved for Mintz, who was one of the top freshmen in the ACC and nationwide in 2022-23.

It’s super early, but as I’ve noted in other recent columns, Judah Mintz already is garnering some buzz for the 2024 NBA Draft. Assuming he shines as a sophomore for Syracuse basketball, he will be a significant contender to hear his name called in the first round, or the early second round, of next summer’s NBA Draft.

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