After announcing back in March that he would delay his decision to either go pro or return for his sophomore season, Cole Anthony officially declared for the NBA Draft today. When he committed to Roy Williams last year, the idea of him staying longer than one season wasn't ideal. Anthony was the #2 player in the 2019 recruiting class, and the #1 point guard in that class. It didn’t take long for his play to catch the eye of Roy Williams, who frequently referred to Anthony as the most complete point guard he’d ever recruited or coached.
In his debut as a Tar Heel, Anthony dropped 34 in a win over Notre Dame, where Anthony and Carolina portrayed a team capable of competing in the ACC, and nationally. Anthony would later suffer an injury that forced him to miss 11 games, and effectively derailed what was once a promising season. Upon his return in February, Carolina lost 7 straight games, before rattling off 3 straight wins to enter March on a hot streak, before closing the season with an embarrassing loss to Syracuse in the ACC Tournament. Despite missing 7 league games, Anthony produced enough to earn Third Team All-ACC Honors, and was 1st Team All-Freshman Team.
Cole released the following statement in regards to his decision: "Throughout my time at UNC I was humbled, challenged and always proud to be a Tar Heel. 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.”
In response to the news, head coach Roy Williams had this to say: "I truly enjoyed coaching Cole this year and it will be fun to watch him play in the NBA. He has our complete support going forward and I will be one of his biggest fans. It was a pleasure to coach him, and getting to know his family was fantastic, as well. He loves the game of basketball as much as any player I've ever coached and he will continue striving to be the absolute best player he can be. He will always be a Tar Heel."
Ever since Anthony committed to North Carolina, he was thought of to be a one and done player, following in the footsteps of Coby White from a season ago. Anthony was thought of to be a consensus lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, but an uneven freshman campaign has Anthony all over the place on draft mocks. Here are the latest predictions for the star guard out of New York:
6th/New York Knicks ( NBA Draft Net )
15th/Orlando Magic ( Sports Illustrated )
8th/Charlotte Hornets ( NBC Sports )
9th/Washington Wizards ( USA Today )
6th/New York Knicks ( Bleacher Report )
11th Overall Prospect ( ESPN )
15th/Orlando Magic ( NBA Draft Room )
6th/New York Knicks ( Gary Parrish CBS )
8th/Charlotte Hornets ( Kyle Boone CBS )