Syracuse Basketball: ACC media disrespects ‘Cuse, Judah Mintz – it’s cool

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Atlantic Coast Conference’s preseason media poll wasn’t overly favorable to Syracuse basketball, but that’s all good.

ACC media members, and some national pundits, aren’t super high on the Orange as the 2023-24 campaign officially kicks off on Monday, Nov. 6, when the ‘Cuse will host New Hampshire.

As I always say, take these sorts of preseason prognostications with the proverbial grain of salt, because they’re speculative in nature, and the Orange will have every opportunity in the near future to silence the doubters.

In any event, when the ACC recently disclosed its preseason media poll, the ‘Cuse was forecast to finish at No. 10 in the conference standings during the 2023-24 term. I think that’s far too low, but – whatever.

Syracuse basketball can prove how good it is on the court in a matter of days.

I do get the skepticism from some experts as it relates to the Orange, and I also acknowledge that I’m a homer, having graduated from Syracuse University and also the fact that I run a fan site covering ‘Cuse sports.

That being said, on paper, the Syracuse basketball 2023-24 roster looks enticing, intriguing and talented. There are loads of athleticism, depth and versatility among the Orange’s 13 scholarship players.

First-year head coach Adrian Autry has big shoes to fill in succeeding the Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim, who retired this past March. Autry, who is changing up the ‘Cuse playing styles on both offense and defense in 2023-24, is an unproven commodity as a head coach.

Additionally, this off-season, the Orange saw two of its top scorers from 2022-23 depart. The ‘Cuse brought in four transfers of its own, and the team’s roster this season is filled with underclassmen.

On top of all that, Syracuse basketball has gone a combined 33-32 over the past two seasons, missing the NCAA Tournament in each campaign. So skepticism from pundits is understandable.

However, the ACC in 2023-24 may have a potentially dominant squad in Duke, but the league as a whole is somewhat of a mystery. Miami went to the Final Four this past spring, and the Hurricanes are expected to be among the conference’s elite again this coming stanza.

North Carolina was a huge disappointment in 2022-23, and will the Tar Heels bounce back? How good is Virginia? I’m not sure. Observations from national and ACC experts suggest a lot of parity will reside in the league within its mid-tier.

To reiterate, I’m doing my own speculating here. And the Orange has yet to play an official game under Autry, with the ‘Cuse possessing a tough non-conference docket and a challenging early part to its ACC slate.

Even with this backdrop, I simply don’t see nine better teams in the ACC than Syracuse basketball. We’ll see how this all pans out for the Orange.

Sophomore point guard Judah Mintz, in the league’s preseason media poll, was named to the All-ACC second squad. As a freshman in 2022-23, he averaged around 16 points per game and was on the ACC’s All-Freshman team.

Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but I felt Mintz should have been on the preseason All-ACC first team. Those who made the first unit are Duke’s Kyle Filipowski, a former Orange target, North Carolina’s Armando Bacot, Clemson’s PJ Hall, Virginia’s Reece Beekman and Miami’s Norchad Omier.

Like I said earlier, it’s all good though. If Mintz does his thing, he’ll end up on the All-ACC first team at the end of 2023-24, and hopefully Syracuse basketball will have made a deep run in March Madness.

Here’s the league’s pecking order, according to the ACC preseason media poll:
1. Duke
2. Miami
3. North Carolina
4. Virginia
5. Clemson
6. Wake Forest
7. N.C. State
8. Virginia Tech
9. Pittsburgh
10. Syracuse
11. Florida State
12. Boston College
13. Georgia Tech
14. Louisville
15. Notre Dame

What do you think? Should Syracuse basketball have been placed higher? Should Judah Mintz be on the preseason All-ACC first team, instead of the second squad?

Next. Syracuse Basketball: Dishing out preseason superlatives for 2023-24 term. dark