Anybody that follows college basketball knows that some components within the game are subjective, which is true of any sport. More specifically, whenever conversation revolves around which player is better than other players, there’s always going to be someone that is dissatisfied with someone’s response. The easiest example of this is the Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James debate that we have to listen to whenever James does something exceptional.
With this in mind, some things are simply unforgivable. Sometimes people in very high positions develop a thorough, detailed opinion that somehow misses the mark so badly that it makes those reading it think that there has to be some form of foul play in the works. This sentiment could be no less true than it is in regards to top-five overall incoming freshman Cole Anthony, who was noticeably missing from NCAA correspondent Andy Katz’s Bob Cousy Award watch list. The Bob Cousy Award is an annual award given to the nation’s best point guard of the season. Here’s a quick look at the top-ten on Katz’s list:
Top picks for the #CousyAward from @TheAndyKatz:— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) June 3, 2019
1. Cassius Winston
2. Markus Howard
3. Tre Jones
4. Ashton Hagans
5. Anthony Cowan Jr.
6. Nico Mannion
7. Devon Dotson
8. Zavier Simpson
9. Ayo Dosunmu
10. Andrew Nembhard
11. Payton Pritchard
As we can clearly see, Anthony’s name is nowhere to be found on this list. This has to mean that his name shows up on the complete list, right? Well, here is a look at the rest of the watch list composed by Katz:
12. McKinley Wright, Colorado
13. Jordan Ford, Saint Mary’s
14. Kamar Baldwin, Butler
15. Kihei Clark, Virginia
16. A.J. Lawson, South Carolina
17. Lamonte Turner, Tennessee
18. Bryce Aiken, Harvard
19. DJ Carton, Ohio State
20. James Akinjo, Georgetown
21. Trent Forrest, Florida State
22. D’Mitrik Trice, Wisconsin
23. Javonte Smart, LSU
24. LaQuincy Rideau, South Florida
25. Jamarius Burton, Wichita State
Let’s start off with the obvious problem with this list: assuming this wasn’t one huge mistake in overlooking which position Anthony will play in college — which we will dive into in a moment — there are an outrageous amount of players on this list that a lot of college basketball fans haven’t even heard of before. For us in ACC country, incoming freshman DJ Carton isn’t someone who should land on our radar, but when looking at the 247 Sports composite class rankings there’s nothing saying that he should know him either. What I learned is that he is a four-star point guard and ranked 33rd in the overall recruiting class, which is 29 spots lower than Cole Anthony is. Seem a bit odd? Well, it gets better.
In the spirit of keeping the rivalry juices flowing, it’s worth pointing out that soon-to-be-sophomore Tre Jones is somehow the third-best player on Katz’s list. During Jones’ freshman year, he averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game, and made 41% of his shots from the field. As a somewhat unfair comparison, the 2019 Bob Cousy Award winner Ja Morant averaged 10 assists, and finished with 24.5 points per game. Admittedly the assist stat here is much more important than anything, but essentially this means that Jones, playing with the best players that he’ll likely ever be surrounded by during his entire college career, has to find a way to do better than 5.3 assists per game to stay in serious contention for the award. Do with that information what you will.
In all fairness, I do think that Cassius Winston may be one of the frontrunners for being the nation’s best point guard going into the 2019-20 season. He’s coming off of a big year for Michigan State this past season, as he averaged 18.8 points and 7.5 assists per game with a +4.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. Going into his final year with the Spartans, I think he could potentially even land on many National Player of the Year watch lists, especially if he’s able to shoot the lights out like he did during his 2017-18 campaign.
Still, it is baffling how many other players ended up on this list and Cole Anthony is nowhere to be found. The only even remotely logical explanation is that Katz was so unsure that Anthony was going to play the point guard position that he decided that he wasn’t willing to add him in and be wrong. While this would be understandable in most cases, it’s also hard to understand why anybody who follows college basketball so closely would think that, as Anthony’s arrival at least had some impact on former UNC point guard Seventh Woods’ decision to leave the program. Furthermore, Roy Williams is undoubtedly set on playing Anthony in the point guard position, so really there’s not a great excuse for such a blunder.
It goes without saying that Andy Katz’s list, or anybody’s list for that matter, isn’t gospel when it comes to the best players in the country. However, leaving a projected NBA lottery pick out of the conversation completely is something that just might haunt Katz down the road, as the internet never forgets things like that. If nothing else, I don’t think Cole Anthony will be forgetting this anytime soon: