Syracuse’s Mintz, Taylor named to TJO Preseason ACC All-Rookie Teams

Syracuse basketball guard Judah Mintz
Oct 14, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse basketball guard Judah Mintz speaks at Syracuse Basketball Media Day. Mandatory Credit: Brett Gustin-The Juice Online.

With the start of the 2022-23 college basketball season less than a month away, here is The Juice Online’s Preseason All-ACC Rookie Teams.

First Team

Guard JJ Starling (Notre Dame)
Guard Dariq Whitehead (Duke)
Forward Baba Miller (FSU)
Forward Kyle Filipowski (Duke)
Center Dereck Lively II (Duke)

JJ Starling – arguably the best point guard recruit in the country, Starling heads out to South Bend. The knock-on Starling is his less-than-stellar play on defense, but his versatility on the offensive side makes him unique. Starling can be your traditional primary ball handler or an off-ball combo guard. Starling’s ability to attack the rim will lead to excellent floor spacing and some of the best big men in the country getting into foul trouble once conference play starts. His lack of defensive skills and bounce will keep him from being an NBA lottery pick, but Starling should still see a late first-round draft projection when the season is over. A McDonald’s All-American coming out of a powerhouse like La Lumiere is always a safe bet, and Starling will deliver.

Dariq Whitehead – Whitehead is a special kind of talent. This year’s NBA draft class may be the best since 2003, and Whitehead will be a top-five pick. Whitehead stood out at the McDonald’s All-American game (won MVP) and the Nike Hoop Summit. Whitehead can score, pass, play lock-down defense, and grab rebounds. This is a no-brainer choice for the All-Freshman team.

Baba Miller – Unknown to many due to his late commitment and playing in Spain, Miller is a 6’ 11” small forward (!) who can shoot the ball from downtown. Watching his highlights from various FIBA tournaments, his ability to score from all three levels at his size is incredible. Miller has the potential to be a top-ten pick in next year’s draft and competing against ACC-caliber players this year will only solidify that. Disfruta del sol de Florida Baba.

Kyle Filipowski – Another day, another top recruit is going to Duke. If Syracuse had their NIL program in order, I believe he would be suited up for the Orange this year. But Syracuse did not, and “somehow” Duke was able to land the big man hailing from the Northeast. Filipowski is not NBA draft ready this year. His quickness and lack of explosiveness need to improve. But watching him play with Whitehead at the Nike Hoops Summit, you could see the talent. Filipowski will be a force all over the floor as he will grab rebounds, bang down low, and hit 3s. Filipowski is a power forward who can grab a rebound and bring the ball up like a point guard. I could see him being drafted in 2024, but I could also see him becoming an adopted member of the Plumlee family and joining their family commune.

Dereck Lively – In a time where big men matter so much in the NCAA but not the NBA, Lively is still a potential lottery pick in 2023. Lively is that good. Watching him dominate the paint in the McDonald’s All-American game and Nike Hoops Summit, it does not take a trained eye to see why Lively is a no-brainer for the All-ACC freshman team. His length helps him dominate in both the rebounding and block categories. The only concern with Lively is that he took an unofficial visit to Penn State, so his decision-making should be questioned. Lively will get progressively better as the season goes on, and I see a lot of DeAndre Jordan (DeAndre Jordan in his prime, that is) in his game.

» Related: 5 takeaways from 2022 Syracuse Basketball Media Day

Second Team

Guard Judah Mintz (Syracuse)
Guard Rodney Rice (Virginia Tech)
Forward Prince Alige (Boston College)
Forward Ven-Allen Lubin (Notre Dame)
Center Patrick Wessler (Virginia Tech)

Third Team

Guard Tyrese Proctor (Duke)
Guard Chandler Jackson (Florida State)
Forward Justin Taylor (Syracuse)
Forward RJ Godfrey (Clemson)
Center Guillermo Diaz Graham (Pitt)

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About Adam Silver Jr. 4 Articles
ACC and SEC by education, early 2000’s Big East at heart.