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North Carolina star Cole Anthony has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft after finishing his first year with the Tar Heels.
Anthony announced his decision on Twitter:
Cole Anthony @The_ColeAnthony
While most of the top hopefuls shared their plans a long time ago, Anthony took his time. He announced on March 24 that he was delaying his decision due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:
Cole Anthony @The_ColeAnthony
‼ ️ https://t.co/64Tf0HGMR9
In his latest comp, Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman projected Anthony as the No. 6 overall choice for the New York Knicks.
North Carolina entered the 2019-2020 season with relatively high expectations. The Tar Heels finished eighth in the Top 25 of the Associated Press preseason and 11th in the coaching poll.
Anthony shouldn’t be too blamed for the 14-19 team record, but the nearly two months he missed due to a partially torn meniscus coincided with the slowdown in the UNC.
The dynamic guard averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 38.0% from the ground and 34.8% from beyond the arc.
Having a famous athlete for a parent does not guarantee a successful career in a given sport. Being Greg Anthony’s son obviously provided Cole with some benefits. The eldest Anthony was a UNLV star and had an 11-year career in the NBA.
Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated provided an overview of their relationship in April 2019 and its impact on the development of Cole:
“Greg Anthony says his son also embraced his repeated speech about being a field leader, finding joy not only in his own success but also in the success of his teammates.
“” He is not afraid of constructive criticism, and he understands where he can improve, “said Greg Anthony. Part of his goal is to want to be a great player. “”
Cole cannot match his father’s college awards. Greg Anthony was a national champion with the rebels in 1990 and helped them reach the title match in 1991.
Like his father, Anthony has the potential for a long career with the pros.
This year’s draft class is generally considered to be fairly weak due to the lack of one or more players who could change the direction of a franchise on their own.
Last July, Wasserman examined the biggest flaws of some of the best stars eligible for the draft and focused on Anthony’s ground game:
“Lottery teams looking for a new primary keeper will closely monitor Cole Anthony, a dynamic ball keeper who needs to work on his shooting selection, decision-making and playing skills on the ground.
“Although clever, athletic and capable of committing an offense with the creation and carrying out of heads-up shots, he can get carried away by excessive dribbling and the hero’s ball. “
This assessment was found to be appropriate. Anthony scored a lot of points in North Carolina but didn’t shoot very effectively. He also spun the ball more than 3.5 times a night, which does not bode well for his first year or two at the next level. Incoming guards often find it hard to adjust to the speed of the NBA.
Although he could have benefited from spending at least one more season in North Carolina, Anthony’s choice is understandable. The 19-year-old is likely to be a lottery pick this summer, so he could only climb much higher on the 2021 draft boards.