Cole Anthony arrived at North Carolina with great fanfare and, on Wednesday evening, the talented freshman announced his presence with authority. Anthony, the son of former NBA guard and current television analyst Greg Anthony, set the bar high for the remainder of his first (and likely only) season in Chapel Hill, exploding for 34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in a 76-65 victory over Notre Dame.
— Swish Cultures (@swishcultures_) November 7, 2019
With the ACC scheduling conferences games (very) early in the 2019-20 campaign, Anthony had the chance to make conference history with his 34-point barrage, setting a freshman record for scoring in a debut. Anthony’s performance included 37 minutes of dynamic action against a legitimate opponent, and the 6’3 guard flashed the floor game that should help to make him a lofty pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Anthony is widely projected as a top-five player in the 2020 draft class, with the potential to jump all the way into the No. 1 pick conversation even before this kind of debut. He isn’t a “pure” point guard by any means, but Anthony combines athleticism and skill in an impressive way for a 19-year-old and the sky is the limit.
North Carolina had a fantastic lead guard in Coby White last season and, eventually, he became a no-doubt lottery pick for the Chicago Bulls. It’s early, but Anthony may actually represent an upgrade on what White was able to do for the Tar Heels last season and that is a statement in itself.