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The New Jonny Flynn

Judah Mintz dribbles around a screen
Judah Mintz accelerates atop the key against St. John's

Back in 2007, Jonny Flynn took Syracuse by storm. The Niagra Falls native burst onto the scene with 28 points in his first game with the Orange. The freshman was one of the most talented players in the nation the moment he stepped on the court.

Flynn’s freshman season ended in the NIT but he didn’t stop there. When the guard returned to Syracuse for a sophomore season, his squad really made some noise. Flynn led his SU team through a six-overtime affair against the University of Connecticut, a Big East Tournament Championship appearance, and a Sweet Sixteen run in the NCAA Tournament.

The Niagara Falls native played so exceptionally that he was drafted sixth overall in the 2009 NBA draft. It’s been 13 years since Flynn suited up in Orange, so why is he still being talked about? Before the season began, SU head coach Jim Boeheim compared Flynn to one of his freshmen in an interview with Jon Rothstein.

“He's like Jonny Flynn, but he’s much bigger,” Boeheim said.

Boeheim’s praise didn’t stop there. The head coach has plenty of positive comments about his young star.

Mintz lets out an emphatic yell against St. John's
Mintz lets out an emphatic yell against St. John's

“He’s one of the best point guards I’ve ever had as a freshman. We’ve started five or six freshmen since I’ve been the coach for a hundred years at Syracuse, but he’s one of the best point guards I’ve ever coached at this stage.

The Syracuse head coach isn’t the only one to draw a comparison between Mintz and Flynn. ESPN Radio’s Brent Axe also sees the similarity.

“He’s got the smoothness of Jonny Flynn but he’s got kind of that Dion Waiters snarl. He’s got that Dion Waiters swagger,” Axe remarked.

Not only has he been compared to Flynn, but Dion Waiters is yet another top-10 pick in the NBA Draft that Mintz looks like so far.

The expectations for the guard are high, but he’s certainly lived up to them in the early season. Through five games with the Orange, Mintz has averaged 18 points, three assists, and two rebounds. The young phenom is churning out highlight reel plays every game and has led SU in scoring twice. As for being on the level of Jonny Flynn, that’s a goal that may take a few more games to decide.