clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UNC Basketball vs. Gardner-Webb Player of the Game: Cole Anthony

This season we may have to just name the award after him.

Gardner-Webb v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Trying to interpret anything about Tar Heel basketball in November is a dangerous task, even under the best of circumstances. This year with so many new faces in the program and the extreme number of injuries present to start the year, that task is even tougher. With all of that out of the way, there is one thing you can say for certain:

Cole Anthony is everything he was advertised to be.

It’s been weird hearing the platitudes about Anthony coming from the coaching staff, as he’s already been called the “tough little nut” by coach Roy Williams and multiple coaches say he could be one of the best they’ve coached. You want to pump the brakes on the hype train until you realize that they saw enough of Coby White by now to double their efforts in recruiting Anthony to Carolina. It’s possible these guys know what they’re doing.

Once again, Anthony led the team in scoring, but also led the team in steals with four and showed his aggressiveness by getting to the line thirteen times in a whistle-prone game, sinking eleven of those. Brandon talked yesterday about how Anthony really played in the flow of the offense, trying to get all of his teammates involved. He also led the team in steals with four, showing he’s not just a threat on the offensive side of the ball but will be aggressive on both sides of the court. This is likely what is making the coaches really salivate. Fans, on the other hand, well...

Cole Anthony has taken a lot of stress off of the rest of the Tar Heel offense as he’s been a reliable 20+ points per game, but you do wonder how much longer he can keep going. The competition is about to ramp up soon.

An underrated player in all three games has been Garrison Brooks. Credit to Jake for noting this:

Shout out also goes to Armando Bacot, who recovered from being evaluated for a concussion against UNCW to bag a double-double on Friday night. He’s shown flashes of his potential, and as he gets stronger, the load may start to lighten on Anthony some.

Still, get used to seeing Cole win this award a lot more this year.