Pitt commit Judah Mintz and Team Durant wrapped up a successful week at Peach Jam on Sunday with a 70-60 victory over Albany City Rocks and an 82-62 win over Expressions down in North Augusta, South Carolina. With the back-to-back wins, Team Durant capped off a 5-0 run, and Mintz finished second in scoring in the preliminary rounds of the Peach Jam event, averaging 22.4 points per game.
During Team Durant’s phenomenal run, Mintz put on one electric performance after another, never scoring fewer than 16 points in an outing. And in three of the team’s five games, he led all scorers, with 19 points against Team Thad, 30 points against The Family and 29 points against Expressions in the finale on Sunday.
But perhaps the most impressive aspect of Mintz’s run at Peach Jam was how it compared to higher-rated prospects also competing at the event, both against Mintz and alongside him.
Mintz, a four-star recruit ranked outside the national top 80, faced off against former Pitt commit Jalen Hood-Schifino, a four-star recruit ranked in the national top 35, when Team Durant faced Team Thad. Mintz had 19 points, five assists and six rebounds, and Hood-Schifino came up with 19 points, six assists and four rebounds. However, Mintz and Team Durant won 71-61, and Mintz outscored Hood-Schifino on a per-game basis by 5.6 points.
Within Team Durant, Mintz also outshined teammates Rodney Rice and Dariq Whitehead. Rice is a four-star recruit firmly within the national top 80, with rankings ranging from No. 77 to No. 47. And while he had a solid showing at Peach Jam, his best games came early, and he averaged 14.6 points per game.
As for Whitehead, a consensus five-star recruit in the national top 10, he was held to a single-digit point total in one game and struggled to convert on shots late in the event, going 15-for-28 in Team Durant’s final two contests. Meanwhile, Mintz went 20-for-22 from the field on Sunday and bested Whitehead’s 15.2 points per game by 7.2 points.
All told, only Keyon Menifield Jr. was able to edge out Mintz for the scoring lead at Peach Jam, with 0.2 points more per game. Mintz also had 2.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 steals per game to go with his 22.4 points. And the Pitt commit shot 64.4 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 80.5 percent from the charity stripe.
Twenty-four teams will advance to the next round of Peach Jam, and the field will be announced by the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League on Monday. At 5-0, Team Durant should be among the teams moving on, and they will be one of the teams to watch as the field narrows ahead of the championship game, which will air on ESPN U on Sunday night.