UNC Basketball: Tar Heels come to the defense of Cole Anthony

Strange comments surface online about former UNC basketball player Cole Anthony, and a number of Tar Heels have come to his defense.

On Thursday evening, an NBA and college basketball writer made a comment online about a former North Carolina point guard that immediately had other Tar Heels, both current and former, coming to his defense.

The former Tar Heel in question was Cole Anthony, and the comment from Elite Media Group’s Trevor Trout suggested that he wasn’t a good teammate. “No matter what he’s like as a teammate, no reason Cole Anthony should be anything outside the top 20,” Trout said in a tweet that presumably came from somewhere in left field.

Trout’s assertion that Anthony isn’t a good teammate was immediately met with resistance from the likes of Jawad Williams, a member of the Tar Heels’ 2005 national championship squad that has remained a huge proponent of the program in the years since.

Others that came to the defense of Anthony include current UNC sophomore center Armando Bacot, senior power forward and preseason first team All-ACC selection Garrison Brooks, as well as former graduate transfer Christian Keeling. Even former UNC point guard Jeremiah Francis, who left the school for New Mexico in order to get more playing time, had thoughts on the matter. Each of them had similar things to say of Anthony, who by all accounts, appears to be the ideal teammate and locker room guy.

Trout’s tweet about Anthony may have been meant more as a compliment than an insult, as he was stating that nobody should be projecting the former 5-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American outside of the NBA Draft’s top 20. Regardless, it didn’t come off that way for those close to Anthony, or the Carolina faithful, who were also quick to jump on Trout’s tweet.

For what it’s worth, Trout is right about one thing. Anthony shouldn’t still be on the board beyond the draft’s top 20 picks. Way too much of a load was put on Anthony during his one season in Chapel Hill, and he’ll be able to showcase his abilities better within a more balanced system at the NBA level, particularly if he does happen to slide in the first round. Imagine what he could do on a team like Milwaukee, Miami or Los Angeles that spreads the floor and utilizes perimeter players and three-point shooters around their big, talented post players.

Here’s hoping that Cole Anthony has a great NBA Draft night, and ends up with an organization that allows him to shine. We have no doubt that he’s the kind of player — and teammate — that’ll be a difference-maker wherever he lands.

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