Jim Boeheim, Syracuse Orange

Jesse Edwards filled the box score in the 2022-23 season opener for the Syracuse Orange.

Despite a slow start to open the game, the Syracuse Orange eventually settled in on both sides of the ball, with a 90-72 win over Lehigh to open the new season.

Edwards nearly finished with a double-double, going for 18 points and 9 rebounds. Joseph Girard III led Syracuse with 19 points on 4-of-6 shooting from deep. Freshman Judah Mintz also impressed with 16 points.

Takeaway #1: Jesse Edwards was robbed from the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar preseason watch-list

Yeah, I’m wondering the same exact question. How?

In all fairness, this season has been dubbed the “Year of the Center.” Edwards, who was one of the top centers in the ACC last season, was left off the preseason award list.

In the first game of his senior season, Edwards could do no wrong. He went for 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block – all in the first 15 minutes of the game. Edwards was a part of a late first-half run that helped the Orange pull ahead of the Mountain Hawks.

Although the Orange start with a handful of tune-up games before their first real test against Illinois, it will be interesting to see how Edwards stacks up with some of the other great big men in college basketball.

Takeaway #2: Judah Mintz has ACC All-Freshman potential

We know what Edwards and Girard can do. The hype train around Mintz had been growing, but we finally got to see what he’s all about today.

The freshman guard shined, finishing with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 3 assists. Past the box score, Mintz was able to carve his way into the lane where he was efficient inside the arc. At times, he already looked like the craftiest ball-handler on the team, with a nose for making plays. Mintz talked about his mindset.

“I feel like I’ve always been a pretty confident player. Without confidence, I don’t think I would be here right now, so just knowing that I put in the work to be in this position now, it makes everything easier for me,” said Mintz.

Takeaway #3: Orange don’t need the three-ball to score

Syracuse scored 90 points on a Lehigh team that held their own defensively in the Patriot League last season. Last season, you would have seen those numbers because of strong outings from the outside by Buddy Boeheim, Cole Swider, and Girard. This season, it’s a different outlook.

“We can score points with no threes. That’s not relative anymore. The idea is you gotta score points. If that’s the only way you can score points, then that’s what you do,” said Boeheim.

Against Lehigh, the Syracuse Orange proved that, scoring 48 points inside the arc, 24 from the charity stripe, and only 18 from behind the three-point line. However, ‘Cuse still did so efficiently, hitting 6-of-12 from deep.”

“I think we can shoot from the three-point line. We’re not looking to take a lot of threes if somebody’s playing man-to-man which most everybody plays anyway,” said Boeheim.

Next game for the Syracuse Orange: Nov. 15 vs. Colgate