Syracuse basketball stars in running for national player of the year honors

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Stars for the Syracuse basketball men’s and women’s teams are early contenders for national player of the year honors.

Per separate releases from SU Athletics, sophomore point guard Judah Mintz on the men’s side and fifth-year guard Dyaisha Fair on the women’s side earlier this week were named to the preseason watch lists for the 2024 Naismith Trophy, which recognizes the top overall player in collegiate hoops every year.

The men’s and women’s preseason watch lists for the 2024 Naismith Trophy each included 50 players.

The 6-foot-4 Mintz, who is from Fort Washington, Md., was also named last month to the preseason watch list of the 2024 Bob Cousy Award, which is doled out annually to the country’s top point guard. He is one of 20 watch-list candidates for this season’s Bob Cousy Award.

Syracuse basketball star players are in contention for a top national award.

Fair, a 5-foot-5 graduate student from Rochester, N.Y., averaged 19.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in the 2022-23 campaign. Last year, she was named to the All-ACC first team and the All-ACC defensive squad.

Fair spent her first three college seasons at Buffalo before transferring to the Orange. Per SU Athletics, entering the 2023-24 stanza, Fair was the second-ranked active scoring leader in the nation, with an impressive 2,691 career points.

Mintz, in 2022-23, averaged 16.3 points, 4.6 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals per contest. He was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s All-Freshman team and also earned an All-ACC honorable-mention nod in 2022-23.

According to, in 2022-23, Mintz among Division I freshmen ranked first in assists average, third in scoring average and seventh in steals average.

The Syracuse basketball men’s team played its 2023-24 season opener on Monday night in the debut of Adrian Autry as the Orange’s head coach. The ‘Cuse wasn’t stellar, but it did manage to defeat New Hampshire, 83-72, at the JMA Wireless Dome.

In that non-conference encounter, Mintz had to deal with foul trouble, but he still tallied 20 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals. He was 9-of-11 from the free-throw line.

The Orange had a quick turnaround this week, as Syracuse basketball was set to welcome Canisius to the Hill on Wednesday evening.

Mintz has received a ton of preseason ACC and national accolades. He’s also receiving some early buzz as a potential first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

A huge congrats to Dyaisha and Judah. I hope they both remain in the mix for the Naismith Trophy as the 2023-24 season carries onward.

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