UNC Basketball: Latest Cole Anthony rumors UNC fans won’t want to hear

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 19: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Watsco Center on January 19, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 19: Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts against the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Watsco Center on January 19, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Brace yourselves, UNC basketball fans. This isn’t what you want to hear.

5-star class of 2019 prospect Cole Anthony is currently the hottest topic among North Carolina basketball fans, and he hasn’t even stepped foot onto a college court yet.

The mere mention of Anthony’s name has North Carolina fans clamoring, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next great point guard to don the Tar Heels’ classic blue and white uniform. In some circles, the conversation has turned from whether or not he’ll pick North Carolina, to what the Tar Heels will do if current UNC starter Coby White forgoes the 2019 NBA Draft for another year in college.

If White leaves, it opens up a spot tailor-made for Anthony, some fans say. Others can’t stop fantasizing about the potential of a back court that includes both dynamic guards playing side by side. They discuss what an Anthony commitment will do for the program, and how it will help bring in future blue chip recruits. And how Anthony is practically destined to become the Tar Heels’ latest and long-awaited NBA All-Star.

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The only problem is, Anthony to North Carolina isn’t a done deal just yet. And in fact, it may be heading in the opposite direction.

According to Rivals recruiting analyst Corey Evans, conversation surrounding the Anthony recruitment has recently turned away from the Tar Heels, and toward the Oregon Ducks. Of course, it’s all speculative in nature, but there’s growing popularity in the belief that Anthony will be in the Great Northwest when the fall semester begins.

"“There have been whispers that Cole Anthony is beginning to favor playing his college ball in Eugene and not Chapel Hill,” Evans said. “Many had assumed that this was a done deal for North Carolina, and while UNC may still win out, there is much more work to be done before he comes to his decision.Anthony has completed all of his official visits and while he has a final list of six programs, I see Georgetown, Miami, Notre Dame and Wake Forest more as window dressing rather than legitimate landing spots. There was talk that Anthony could be coming off of the board last month, but January came and went and he remains an uncommitted man.I would be surprised if he decides this month, but things are beginning to come to a close. His father, Greg Anthony, has been much more present at his games in recent weeks, so there is a better opportunity for the five-star guard to discuss the pros and cons of each program with his family. If everyone can get on the same page, then Anthony could enter decision-making mode. Do not discount the Ducks, as this is a dead heat as things wind down.”"

Like the Carolina faithful, a number of college basketball analysts have been convinced for some time that Anthony would almost definitely be a Tar Heel in 2019. Current projections from experts on 247Sports.com still show North Carolina as the favorite to land Anthony, but the margin is becoming smaller between the Tar Heels and Ducks.

The 6-foot-3, 184-pound Anthony is far and away the top back court prospect in the country. His skill set is paralleled by few, if any, in his class, or any other. Known for his silky smooth offensive game, Anthony runs the floor well, creates opportunities for himself with ease and gets teammates involved. He combines tremendous athleticism with a high basketball IQ, and uses his great court vision in fast-break situations or to drive the lane and kick the ball out to open shooters.

For all of his offensive ability, Anthony is reliable on the defensive side of the ball, too. He doesn’t have uncanny size for his position, but he’s a tenacious defender with active feet and good quickness. He has no problem staying in front of his man, and denying passing lanes. He’s also a really good rebounder for a guard.

Anthony is the No. 4 prospect in the class of 2019 according to the 247Sports Composite. He’s the top player at his position, and the No. 1 prospect in the state of Virginia.

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