With the Gators set to lose some veteran guards to graduation after the upcoming season you can see that Mike White and his staff (currently just Al Pinkins as we wait for news regarding assistant coach hires) are prioritizing guards in the 2022 recruiting class. Looking at who has had success at the highest level in college basketball in recent history it’s clear that guards are the most important position group and Florida has had their best success under White with quality guards and they’ll be looking to continue their success with ball handlers.
Earlier this week there was some buzz regarding Chase Cormier, and by the sounds of it the Gators are also heavily in the mix for 6’3” Washington product Judah Mintz.
Mintz is a player that Florida offered early before a lot of the other high majors that are currently interested got in touch. Since that point schools like North Carolina, Villanova, and Maryland have gotten in pursuit of his services, something that speaks to his quality as a player. Currently he is the 92nd ranked player in the 2022 class, though it’s worth noting that recruiting rankings, which are already meant to be taken with a grain of salt, are particularly shaky in 2022 considering players in this class missed a lot of high school and AAU games in what is usually their most important year when it comes to scouting services evaluating them.
Watching Mintz play you’d think he was larger than his 6’3”, 165 frame would suggest. He is a physical player who imposes his will on drives, initiating contact and creating space to get to his spots on the floor. As a 2022 player he’s almost certainly going to add more weight and physical maturity before setting foot on a college floor, but even now as a skinnier player he invites contact and blows through larger players. What makes the physicality of his game even more impressive is that he’s not a bull in a china shop, he’s still a player with great finishing ability who follows up tough drives with finesse finishes that feature great extension and touch as he kisses layups off the backboard.
The mid range is also an area where Mintz does a lot of damage as he’s got a smooth pull up game that punishes defenders that lay off of him when concerned about his ability to drive. Able to decelerate from high speeds and get into balanced jump shots it’s also a great way for him to get shots in transition.
Right now Mintz probably isn’t an above average three-point shooter, but it’s something he’s working on. In high school Mintz is someone that is playing with the ball in his hands a ton but as he transitions to the college game he’ll need to have a bit more diversity as someone who can also play away from the ball and knock down shots. Again, as a 2022 prospect with some time left in college, this will almost certainly be a skill he improves on.
Mintz’s toughness is also seen on the defensive end where he takes pride in hounding opposing guards. Again his physicality is noticeable and he loves to get into the jersey of his opposition and make it extremely uncomfortable for them to dribble the ball or drive.
More of a combo guard than a true point guard, Mintz might be at his best playing next to a traditional ball handler right now though distributing might be a skill he looks to develop. White also might see him as a combo guard, but have no problem with the thought of playing him at point next to another combo guard. We saw in the transfer portal that the Gators took a number of combo guards and no true point guards, and he might be looking to go the modern basketball route of multiple combo guards and the floor and no true point guard as opposed to what the Gators have played a lot of in recent years and that’s a true point guard next to a couple of wings who struggle to handle the ball and create. If Florida were to land both Judah Mintz and Chase Cormier, the two combo guards they’re after the most right now, it could be an interesting modern combo guard backcourt pairing.
Florida is thought to be in a pretty good place with the recruitment of Mintz. He has mentioned that he wants to go to a place where they play through their guards, something that Florida does as much as anyone in the country, and they were an early offer that has recruited him tirelessly since. Given that Florida will be losing at least Tyree Appleby and Brandon McKissic, two guards who will get a ton of minutes in the backcourt, to graduation means that roles will be available, something that is as important as ever to recruiting high school players.
There isn’t an exact timeline for when Mintz wants to make his decision but he has mentioned he would ideally make a decision before he starts his senior season of high school. That still leaves plenty of time for him to make his call, but with Florida after him hard we may hear news soon.