The coronavirus has done an excellent job of disrupting both the sports world and the world as a whole. As far as the former is concerned, freshman point guard Cole Anthony stated a few weeks ago that he was going to put off announcing any decision he was going to make about his future in order to pay respect to the current pandemic situation. Unfortunately the NBA Draft has deadlines, however, and we finally got his decision.
Today Cole Anthony has announced that he’s leaving Chapel Hill and entering the NBA Draft:
Breaking: Projected lottery pick Cole Anthony announces he’s leaving UNC to enter the NBA draft @brhoops pic.twitter.com/6G8XiBSe4O— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 17, 2020
Anthony’s lone season at Carolina was one that had some drastic ups and downs. Pre-injury he looked magnificent, and his most notable performance came in his first ACC game against Notre Dame when he scored 34 points, and made 6 of his 10 three-point attempts. After he went down with his injury, however, things completely fell apart for the Tar Heels, and even when he returned to the roster it just wasn’t enough. The team suffered many injuries across the board and developing the usual Roy Williams quality cohesiveness just wasn’t possible.
Cole Anthony finished his freshman campaign averaging 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. He earned third team All-ACC and ACC All-Freshman team honors, which is impressive considering how long he was out due to injury.
Here is what Anthony had to say about his decision to enter the draft:
“Throughout my time at UNC I was humbled, challenged and always proud to be a Tar Heel,” says Anthony. “I want to thank Coach Williams and the entire coaching staff for giving me an opportunity of a lifetime and pushing me every day. Thank you Tar Heel Nation for embracing me with open arms from the moment I stepped on campus and sticking by us through a tough season. My teammates – my brothers – we were together in the trenches. You made me better every day and helped me grow as a basketball player and as a man.
“I am excited to announce the next step in my journey and declare for the 2020 NBA Draft. While no one truly knows what the next few months will look like, I’m ready for whatever God has in store.”
Cole Anthony’s one-and-done exit from UNC was anticipated by Roy Williams so, in regards to what this means for his team, that scholarship has already been spoken for. Brandon Huffman’s transfer announcement left some room for speculation, but ultimately everyone knew what the decision would be. This does mean that there’s one scholarship up for grabs, and it’s expected that the spot is filled soon.
We wish Anthony the best of luck at the next level, and despite how the season went it will be hard to forget how special he was in a Carolina uniform anytime soon.