No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
- Aug 15, 2011
Welcome to National Cheeseburger Day!
Hamburgers are pretty satisfying, but they are just a little bit better when they are topped with cheese and turned into cheeseburgers. Celebrated today, cheeseburgers can be made with many types of cheese—as long as it has good meltability. Fast food restaurants often use processed cheese, such as American, but cheddar, pepper jack, Swiss, mozzarella, and blue cheese are often used to make cheeseburgers as well. Cheese slices are usually placed on top of burgers right before they are done cooking so that the cheese begins to melt over them. Multiple patties and multiple pieces of cheese may be used in each cheeseburger. Some cheeseburgers even have the cheese inside of the burger, often being called a Juicy Lucy. Just as with hamburgers, many other toppings are often added to cheeseburgers as well, such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, sauteed mushrooms, avocado, and bacon.
Syracuse guard Judah Mintz, shown here in a game against Virginia Tech last season, will return for his sophomore year after putting his name into the NBA draft last spring. N. Scott Trimble | firstname.lastname@example.org
Mintz returns with big goals after putting NBA on hold: ‘I just wasn’t ready’ (PS; $; Waters)
Judah Mintz sat at a table just outside the Syracuse basketball players’ locker room at the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center.
The 6-foot-3 guard, back for his sophomore year, looked the same as he did during his first year at Syracuse. The winsome smile. The locks pulled into tight strands.
There was one noticeable difference. A new tattoo on his left hand. The Chinese yin-yang symbol with a pair of dragons.
For Mintz, the yin and yang represent balance. The dragons?
“Dragons are wise,’’ Mintz said. “They’re powerful. In the movies, they are the biggest creatures, but they’re also wise.’’
Mintz returns for his sophomore year at Syracuse a bit wiser and comfortably balanced after an offseason that saw him enter the NBA draft, go to the NBA combine, work out for eight teams and then remove his name just hours before the NBA’s deadline to withdraw from the draft.
In his first interview since deciding to forego the NBA draft and come back for a second year at Syracuse, Mintz explained his decision, detailed what he learned from the process and spoke about his goals for the upcoming season.
Mintz said he got feedback directly from the NBA teams that had him in for workouts. He received a range of where he might be drafted.
Had he been certain of being a first-round pick, Mintz said he would have stayed in the draft.
But he didn’t get that.
Syracuse Basketball: Orange has offered 4-stars who played at Elite Camp (itlh; Adler)
Late last month, Syracuse basketball coaches held their annual Elite Camp, with numerous talented players in the 2025 and 2026 recruiting cycles in attendance.
As often is the case, the Orange coaching staff typically doles out a few scholarship offers to prospects who made unofficial visits to the Hill to play in the Elite Camp, and 2023 was no different.
At the time of this writing, at least six high-school players who suited up at the camp had received scholarship offers from the ‘Cuse, according to social media posts and recruiting services.
These relatively new Syracuse basketball recruits hail from both the 2025 and 2026 classes, and several of the Orange targets have already said they have high interest in the team and may want to visit the SU campus at some point.
Syracuse basketball has offered multiple prospects who went to Elite Camp.
One ‘Cuse offer went out to 2025 four-star big man Matthew Gilhool, a 6-foot-11 power forward who attends William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia.
Gilhool, who checked in at No. 70 nationally in new national rankings from 247Sports, played well in the most recent AAU season for the Philadelphia-based Philly Pride in the Under Armour Association league.
His offer sheet includes Maryland, Bryant, Miami, Mississippi State, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Fairfield, Iona, St. John’s, West Virginia, Marshall and Pittsburgh.
Albany, N.Y., native Keyshuan Tillery, a 2025 three-star point guard, also picked up an Orange offer after playing in the team’s Elite Camp.
The 6-foot-1 Tillery, a standout at the New Hampton School in New Hampton, N.H., is a member of the Albany City Rocks in Nike’s EYBL league, an AAU program that has sent numerous of its alumni to Syracuse basketball over the years.
Tillery, in a recent interview, said that he wants to take another visit to the ‘Cuse at some point. Rated No. 131 nationally in 247Sports’ latest update, his offer list also includes Northwestern, Albany, UMBC, Georgia Tech, North Carolina A&T, Hampton, Bryant, Temple, Mike Hopkins-led Washington, Wyoming, UMass and St. Bonaventure.
Nigel James, a 2025 four-star point guard who moved up to No. 99 overall in this class per 247Sports, also landed a ‘Cuse offer around the time of the Elite Camp.
The 6-foot James was set to officially visit Syracuse basketball on September 15. He is a junior at Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville, N.Y., and was a top performer this spring and summer for the Boston-based Expressions Elite in the EYBL league.
Other college groups that have offered James include Seton Hall, George Mason, Iowa, Marquette, UMass, Minnesota, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Southern California, Wake Forest, Xavier, Manhattan, Saint Joseph’s and UAB, among others.
In the 2026 class, I’m aware of at least three prospects who went to the Elite Camp and have received offers from the Syracuse basketball coaching staff.
Syracuse basketball is hitting D.C. market hard in pursuit of 4-stars, 5-stars (itlh; Adler)
Over the years, Syracuse basketball coaches have viewed the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore corridor as a priority geographic footprint when it comes to recruiting.
This is nothing new. Orange legend Carmelo Anthony grew up in Baltimore. Another ‘Cuse icon, Dave Bing, is from D.C. Other former Syracuse basketball stars who have ties to either Baltimore or D.C. include Sherman Douglas, Lawrence Moten, Jerami Grant, C.J. Fair and Donte Greene.
More recently, current Orange junior forward Benny Williams is from the Washington metropolitan area, which locals like me refer to as the “DMV.” So, too, is sophomore point guard Judah Mintz. Sophomore wing Justin Taylor is from Charlottesville, Va., but he played AAU ball in our nation’s capital.
So a column here about the ‘Cuse coaching staff being active in the D.C. and Baltimore markets isn’t necessarily a novel concept. That being said, since the spring, Syracuse basketball coaches have, in my opinion, proven particularly aggressive in this corridor, landing one verbal commitment and doling out offers to numerous prospects across the 2024, 2025 and 2026 classes.
Since I grew up near Baltimore and have lived my entire adult life in and around D.C., seeing the Orange pursue a lot of local talent is exciting to me personally. Given the deep recruiting connections that ‘Cuse coaches have in the DMV, this pattern I believe will carry on for a long, long time.
Syracuse basketball is hitting the recruiting trail hard in the Baltimore to D.C. corridor.
In late March, Brenden Straughn joined the ‘Cuse as an assistant coach after most recently serving in a similar capacity at George Washington. Both he and Orange first-year head coach Adrian Autry were previously assistants with the Washington-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league, a powerhouse AAU program that has sent numerous of its alumni to the Hill.
Syracuse Basketball: 5-star guard with Orange in his top 4 set to announce (itlh; Adler)
Jalil Bethea, a 2024 five-star guard from the Philadelphia area, is set to make his college decision next week and has a final four that includes Syracuse basketball, according to a post on X from college basketball insider Adam Zagoria.
Zagoria writes that the 6-foot-4 Bethea will announce his future collegiate destination “Tuesday or Wednesday at his school” and his final four consist of Miami, the Orange, Villanova and Kansas.
Previously, Bethea had a top five of those teams plus Alabama. It appears the Crimson Tide is no longer in contention, according to Zagoria’s X post.
That being said, Bethea was planning to officially visit the Hill this coming weekend for a second time and also officially visit Alabama in the near future, but he canceled those visits, per another recent post on X from Zagoria.
In recent weeks, Bethea has taken official visits to Miami, Kansas and Villanova. He officially visited Syracuse basketball in October of 2022, after receiving a scholarship offer from the ‘Cuse the previous month.
Syracuse basketball is likely not going to prevail for 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea.
I’m not in Bethea’s inner circle, but his including the Orange in his final four seems like a formality to me. If he was truly and seriously considering the ‘Cuse, I believe he would have taken that official visit to Central New York this weekend.
Syracuse basketball recruiting: how will Adrian Autry respond to recruit’s change in plans? (TNIAAM; Wall)
Since taking over as Syracuse Orange head coach, Adrian Autry has surpassed the expectations of many in terms of his ability to bring in players.
Autry grabbed JJ Starling, Chance Westry, Kyle Cuffe, Jr. and Naheem McLeod from the portal. He’s got a 2024 class that ranks 7th on On3 and was looking to add another top recruit to his commits- Donnie Freeman and Elijah Moore.
The player that Syracuse has long their sights on was Philadelphia guard Jalil Bethea, a top-10 recruit in the 2024 class. Bethea was scheduled to visit Syracuse this weekend, but after trips to Villanova, Kansas and Miami, he cancelled plans to visit both Syracuse and Alabama. Speculation is that Miami closed the deal with Bethea and will land the 5-star recruit.
Fellow ACC team Miami has picked up a lot of analyst buzz in the recruitment of 2024 five-star guard Jalil Bethea, who has had Syracuse basketball in his top five. Bethea reportedly has canceled an upcoming official visit to the Orange. Syracuse Basketball: Miami with tons of analyst buzz for 5-star Jalil Bethea
— Neil Adler (@DAMNTWIN) September 12, 2023
It’s a blow to Autry based on the staff having made Bethea a top priority in the class, and now we see how he responds to this missed target. While it’s hard to anticipate what the 2024 roster will need, it seems as though the coaching staff is being realistic about Judah Mintz and JJ Starling turning pro at the end of this season.
The benefit of hitting the transfer portal hard in 2023 is that it could provide the staff a cushion in terms of roster depth for the 24-24 season. Even if the projected starting backcourt is gone, the Orange could still have Quadir Copeland, Justin Taylor, Westry, Cuffe and Moore as options at the guard spots. We’ll keep an eye out to see if Syracuse is able to get back in the mix for some 2024 recruits, or if they decide to mine the portal again next spring.
Chedy Hampson, who founded and built Syracuse-based TCGplayer into one of the largest online marketplaces for trading card games, wants to use some of the money he earned to help South Side neighborhoods. He grew up at 152 Kenmore Ave., Syracuse. N. Scott Trimble | email@example.com
He sold his company for millions. Now he can play a new game in his old Syracuse neighborhood (PS; $; Breidenbach)
Chedy Hampson looked at the missing windows in his old bedroom at 152 Kenmore Ave. and remembered friends drawing names to see who got to play exciting new 1980s video games like “Lakers versus Celtics.”
The moment isn’t so far removed from the gaming sales company he just sold for nearly $300 million.
But it’s a lifetime away from his financial awareness. He didn’t know how little his childhood house on Syracuse’s South Side was worth until his mother sold it in 1997 for only $15,750.
The porch fell off the house about six months ago. His friend’s old house across the street has been torn down. The familiar footpaths are still there, leading to the McKinley Park pool, basketball courts and fields where they played wiffle ball and football.
He sees the neighborhood’s potential in his memories and his imagination.
Now 49 and a sudden multimillionaire, he’s in a rare position to help the city and community groups lift streets like Kenmore back up. He is expected to announce a small gift today that could just be the start of a new philanthropic adventure.
Hampson gave $25,000 to Home HeadQuarters for Friday’s annual volunteer block blitz – a massive, one-day makeover of a neighborhood on the city’s South Side. He announced another $50,000 for the non-profit to use for more projects.
For the 16th year, hundreds of volunteers “blitzed” a neighborhood with new coats of paint, landscaping, driveway sealing and a quarter-mile-long sidewalk murals. There are plenty of other company volunteers and donors: 50 people from Home Depot, 100 gallons of paint from Sherwin Williams. Volunteers from M&T Bank stained almost a whole block of fences.