When Cole Anthony dropped 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in North Carolina's season-opener against Notre Dame, the college basketball world took notice.
The freshman phenom's performance not only broke North Carolina's record for best performance by a freshman in a debut but it also broke a two-decade-long ACC record. Anthony is the first ACC freshman in 20 years to post a 30 point, 10 rebound and 5 assist stat-line in a season-opener.
Anthony followed up his debut with two other stellar performances. He posted another double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds in a 78-62 victory over UNC-Wilmington on Nov. 8 and put up 28 points, leading the Tar Heels to a 77-61 win against Gardner Webb on Nov. 15.
The Cole Anthony show is fun to talk about but without this North Carolina team and traditional Roy Williams run-and-gun system, the transition from high school to college might not have come so easily to the freshman point guard.
"I just love to run. And I also love to rebound, so when you combine me being able to rebound the ball and eliminating that pass from the bigs to the guard and with how Carolina likes to play, I mean, they go together pretty well," Anthony told NCAA.com's Andy Katz on this week's March Madness 365 podcast.
Cole Anthony is the son of former UNLV star and current basketball analyst for Turner Sports Greg Anthony. Anthony helped lead the Runnin' Rebels to a 1990 NCAA championship.
"He just told me to just really enjoy the moment," Anthony said about his father's advice entering college. "I've really just been focusing on every single day, taking it a day at a time and just loving the process."
Cole Anthony isn't the first, and he sure won't be the last child of a former college star to find themselves in the spotlight. Just ask Steph Curry, son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, about the process of going from being known as a son to be being known as a basketball star.
Cole Anthony. Household name.— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) November 11, 2019
The @UNC_Basketball star earned Player of the Week from @TheAndyKatz after setting a new ACC record for points in a freshman debut. @The_ColeAnthony 👏 pic.twitter.com/WulRZlRjsX
"I really focus on being the best individual I can be, because at the end of the day me and my dad are two different people," Anthony told Katz. "The one thing I try to do is build a really good public image of the Anthony name and also just really enjoy being a kid at the same time."
One thing Cole Anthony, and college basketball fans, are looking forward to are this season's North Carolina versus Duke games. Although the Tar Heels got the better of the Blue Devils twice last season, 88-72 in the first game and 79-70 in the second, Duke was able to notch a one-point 74-73 victory when it counted most — in the 2019 ACC championship game.
"I've been told those two of the most-watched games in the country every year because we play them twice, but honestly right now at this point, I'm taking every game one game at a time," Anthony said.
After a 3-0 start, Anthony and the now 5th-ranked Tar Heels will host Elon at 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Cole Anthony's interview with Andy Katz begins at about the 6:20 mark and covers all of these topics and more. This week's edition of the March Madness 365 podcast also features interviews with Florida head coach Mike White and former UCLA star Don Maclean.