Tag Archives: North Carolina Tar Heels

2020 NBA Draft Preview: Cole Anthony 6’3 190 PG- North Carolina

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Anthony is a well- conditioned athlete. The Tar Heels point guard missed six weeks with a torn meniscus in his right knee but never skipped a beat with his conditioning and he rarely looks tired. He averaged 34.9 minutes per game and the NBA workload shouldn’t be a problem for him.  A week after coming back from injury, he played 43 minutes against Duke.  Offensively, Anthony is best when asked to make plays off the high screen and roll, where he can drive, shoot the elbow jumper or make the correct pass (Boston College; 1st Half). An accurate barometer for if Anthony is playing well is if he is driving to the basket, he shot at least six free throws in 12 of 22 games played. In those games where he shot more than six free throws, Anthony averaged 21 points compared to 15 points when he did not. He also enjoys using the step back jumper and fade away. When asked to finish at the bucket, Anthony will shoot the ball high off the glass or go to a baseline reverse rather than dunks. 

Weaknesses: Not long and doesn’t possess a great wingspan. Duke point guard Tre Jones is also listed at 6’3” but his length was the difference as he overpowered Anthony to the rim on multiple occasions in their first matchup. Untimely turnovers are a problem as well (ACC Tournament: Virginia Tech; 1st Half). He averaged 3.5 turnovers per game. He was stripped with his team up two against Duke when he tried to split two defenders. Anthony also will need to tweak his shot selection, he is prone to settle for three pointers or fadeaways. The freshman has a fairly quick release but does start his shooting motion at his midsection, will this be effective at the next level?

Other Notes:

  • Attended Archbishop Molloy High School (NY) for three seasons before transferring to Oak Hill Academy (Va.) for his senior season. He was named the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game MVP after totaling 14 points, five rebounds and seven assists
  • Father, Greg, played 11 seasons in the NBA and won a championship in college at UNLV
  • Member of the U18 USA National Team and led team USA in scoring at the 2019 Nike Hoops Summit
  • Missed six weeks during his lone season at UNC with a torn meniscus in his right knee
  • 2019-2020 (22 games, 20 sts): 18.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4 APG, 38% FG, 34.8% FG3, 75% FT

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Cole Anthony plays with a competitiveness that many freshmen don’t possess. However, turnovers and shot selection will be a question mark for scouts. Can Anthony be trusted to make the smart play?  He would be best served playing for a team that has a veteran point guard who can show him the ropes. Look for him to be drafted around pick No. 7 like a Tar Heel point guard who came before him, Coby White. A pairing with the Detroit Pistons and Derrick Rose would be ideal. 

Q&A with former North Carolina DB MJ Stewart

There wasn’t a lot that former North Carolina defensive back MJ Stewart couldn’t do in school.  He would often change intermittently between positions on drives during games.  We caught up with the former Tar Heel during the 2018 Senior Bowl to discuss what he brings to an NFL franchise.

Former North Carolina DB MJ Stewart played cornerback, nickel back and returned punts for the Tar Heels.

DN: You had so much experience coming into the week having played outside, played inside, sometimes intermittently during games (at North Carolina). And then this week (Senior Bowl), you did a little bit of that as well. You seemed active and comfortable going against a number of receivers and you also looked real comfortable returning kicks. Talk a little bit about that.

Stewart: This is something I’ve been doing for awhile, you know. People didn’t know that. So this week was a good opportunity for me to show people that I could outside and inside. And I can return in the kicking game, too. For me, it’s something I’ve been doing for awhile so it’s nothing new to me, but it is new to a lot of people. I wanted to come out here and turn some heads.

DN: One of your teammates that you were kind of in concert with quite a bit during your career was Donnie Miles. It seemed like you and him on the field were real good in terms of communication. Talk a little bit about that connection and really how that all came about.

Stewart: That’s my boy, man. Donnie’s my boy. This past year we roomed together. We just wanted to build that connection even further on the field. Sometimes we’d be up late studying. We go to the film room together and we see things from each other’s point of view so we’re on the same page.

DN: You go to the NC State game, you’re able to look-and-lean down the field. Made some plays in that game when you were challenged. You had to be the leader on the defense after losing Andre Smith a little bit earlier in the season, and then also  (Cole) Holcomb, you lost him a little earlier as well. With those injuries, how much was the onus on you to step up even more as a leader?

Stewart: It was big. With all those vocal leaders down, I had to step up and be the big vocal leader. I tried to encompass that as best as I could.

DN: Who was the toughest receiver that you went against in your career and what was the one game you’d like for NFL scouts to see?

Stewart: Toughest receiver in my career. It’s hard. I’m a big believer in everybody’s good until you prove otherwise. You can’t sleep on anybody. But I’d have to say Justin Hardy (Atlanta Falcons) from ECU. When I played him I was a freshman and still trying to get my feet under me. And he was a veteran receiver so it was nice going against him. He was strong, very active, good routes. It was good seeing that early in my career.

DN: And then what was that one game you’d like for scouts to maybe point to for you in your career? Any year.

Stewart: I’d have to say this past year Miami (Fla.). I definitely was locked in. I’m locked in every game but I turned it up that game.

DN: No doubt man, best of luck in the draft.

Stewart: Thank you.

—-2018 Senior Bowl practices, DraftNasty staff reports

UPDATE: Stewart -ranked 57th on DraftNasty’s 2018 Big Board (No. 2 all-purpose player)- was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the 57th overall pick (2nd Round) in the 2018 NFL Draft.