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Sport How Anthony's return could provide a spark for Tar Heels

20:00  18 january  2020
20:00  18 january  2020 Source:   latimes.com

North Carolina's Anthony could return vs. Boston College

  North Carolina's Anthony could return vs. Boston College North Carolina point guard Cole Anthony could return Saturday against Boston College. © Streeter Lecka / Getty Images Sport / GettyTar Heels head coach Roy Williams said Anthony has practiced five-on-five and is probable to play if he feels OK on Saturday, according to the News & Observer's Jonathan Alexander.Anthony hasn't played since Dec. 8 due to a partially torn right meniscus that required an arthroscopic knee procedure.

Before his injury, Anthony led the Tar Heels with 19.1 points per game, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He was the catalyst for UNC’ s offense, and his absence is a huge reason the Tar Heels ’ have had trouble scoring. UNC Now is your place for Tar Heel hoops and football.

Anthony ’ s decision could either make UNC competitors this fall, or be the ultimate backbreaker to their ability to compete. While that sounds like something that should relax Tar Heel Nation, it should be noted that we’ve seen things like this go in a completely different direction before, and Anthony taking


North Carolina guard Cole Anthony, who has missed the last seven games after undergoing an arthroscopic knee procedure in December, has been hinting that he could return soon.

He posted a photo on Instagram Thursday night with the caption, “Can’t wait to join my brothers on the court again,” raising speculation that he may be ready for UNC’s game against Pittsburgh on Saturday.

But the question remains: Should Anthony, a projected NBA lottery pick, return to the Tar Heels?

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John Shoop, the first-year offensive coordinator, calls the Tar Heels ’ receivers “freaks” because of their ability, and he wants to get them the ball often. Tate is one of them, and he is expected to be in the starting lineup at receiver, along with Hakeem Nicks.

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UNC (8-8, 1-4 ACC) is on a three-game losing streak and is 2-5 without Anthony.

The Tar Heels hit their lowest point of the season last week, after losing 79-76 in overtime to Clemson in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels led by 10 points with 2:08 left, before allowing the Tigers to come back and tie it, sending it to overtime. They turned the ball over three times in that stretch.

Before that game, Clemson had never won in Chapel Hill. The loss snapped a 59-game winning streaking dating back to 1928.

If the NCAA Tournament were to start today, or even two weeks from now, the Tar Heels would not make it, prompting some to ask why Anthony would return if he’s a projected lottery pick. According to nbadraft.net, Anthony is projected to go No. 9 overall.

ESPN analyst and former Virginia Tech coach, Seth Greenberg said on ESPN in December that he could not see a scenario where Anthony returned.

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  Lakers' Anthony Davis available for Monday's game vs. Celtics Lakers' Anthony Davis available for Monday's game vs. Celtics

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Anthony chose the Tar Heels over a final four that included Oregon, Notre Dame and Georgetown. The Tar Heels emerged as the clear favorite as Anthony ' s high school season progressed, though, and Anthony even took another unofficial visit to Chapel Hill in early March.

“As a basketball guy, I want him to come back,” Greenberg said in an interview with the N&O on Wednesday. “I like to see guys who love the game and want to play. But in a business decision, he’s got a lot at stake.”

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Former Duke star Zion Williamson went through the same scrutiny after he went down with a knee injury last February. Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, missed six games and some questioned whether or not he should return to the Blue Devils. He did.

However, Anthony’s and Williamson’s situations are slightly different. Duke was one of the favorites to win the national championship last season. The Tar Heels may not even make the tournament.

“Obviously, Cole is like one of my best friends, so if he comes back or not, I’m going to support him regardless,” UNC freshman forward Armando Bacot told the N&O last week. “But Cole, I can tell you, he wants to come back.”

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  Defamation lawsuit against Casey Anthony filed by meter reader tossed out Last year a judge tossed out a defamation lawsuit against Casey Anthony, filed by Roy Kronk, the meter reader who found her daughter's body. Kronk sued Anthony saying statements made by her defense team to the media accused him of murder. Sign up for our Newsletters A jury acquitted her mother, Casey Anthony, of the capital murder charges in July 2011 for the 2008 death of her daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony. A few months after the trial, Kronk sued Casey Anthony for defamation.Kronk led investigators to Caylee Marie's body in a wooded area not far from Anthony's home.

Marcus Paige scored 20 points in his season debut to lead the Tar Heels to an 89-81 victory over #2 Maryland on December 1, 2015.

Tar Heel Blog a North Carolina Tar Heels community. When engaged Johnson can be a monster. He has the size, athleticism and shooting touch to dominate the post. And work he did, hitting his most productive stretch when UNC was in dire need of a spark .

When UNC announced that Anthony had undergone the knee procedure on Dec. 16, the school said he would miss four to six weeks.

Saturday’s game would fall in that projected time period.

Asked by The News & Observer on Friday about Anthony’s rehab, and whether he could play on Saturday, team spokesperson Steve Kirschner said, “We said four to six weeks. I don’t have anything to add at this point.”

UNC typically releases injury reports on game days. But coach Roy Williams has said in past interviews that he does not plan to rush Anthony back.

In warmups, about an hour and a half prior UNC’s game against Pitt last week, Anthony was seen with his knee wrapped . He was feeding passes to Armando Bacot and dribbling but not really moving.

Before his injury, Anthony led the Tar Heels with 19.1 points per game, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

He was the catalyst for UNC’s offense, and his absence is a huge reason the Tar Heels have had trouble scoring. He led the team in usage rate, and took a third of the team’s shots.

The Tar Heels were struggling to score with Anthony, too. He was shooting 36% from the floor. But their inability to score was exacerbated without Anthony. He was one of the few players who has shown he can create his own shot.

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  What will it take for Lakers' Anthony Davis to return after injuring his back? It is unclear to what extent the Los Angeles Lakers will consider Anthony Davis fully healthy before clearing him to play. “I don’t know if it will be 100 percent,” Vogel said. “It’s going to be day to day and we’ll communicate with the medical team. We want him as pain-free as possible. But I don’t know if that is 100 percent or 99 percent. They’ll tell me when he’s ready.”Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“We thought, and still think that Cole is a big time player,” Williams said in the ACC’s teleconference on Monday. “And when he gets back we think he will be a big positive for our team.”

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UNC will play at Pitt (11-6, 2-4) on Saturday, the second meeting between the two teams in 10 days. The Tar Heels led the Panthers by nine points at halftime on Jan. 8 before Pitt got hot in the second half. Pitt hit 8 of 12 3-pointers in the second half and won, 73-65.

The Tar Heels had trouble staying in front of their men. That caused other defenders to help out, leaving shooters open.

Anthony, who Williams has said is one of their best on-ball defenders, should help with that when he returns.

Anthony isn’t the only UNC player whose status is unclear. UNC freshman guard Jeremiah Francis is dealing with a sore knee. And senior guard Brandon Robinson, who got into a car accident last week, is also questionable for the game.

Without those three players, UNC would be down three ball handlers.

But if they do return, it would be a boost the Tar Heels desperately need.

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©2020 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Visit The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) at www.newsobserver.com

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Related slideshow: Best photos of college basketball season (provided by imagn)

a group of people jumping in the air: Michigan State Spartans guard Cassius Winston (5) drives to the basket defended by Wisconsin Badgers guard D'Mitrik Trice (0) during the second half of a game at the Breslin Center on January 17, 2020.

Luke DeCock: Without fanfare or celebration, Roy Williams (finally) passes Dean Smith .
Roy Williams ran off the court with his head down, only raising it briefly to wave at someone above the tunnel heading into North Carolina's locker room. He looked for all the world like a man whose team had just won a routine January game. Not a game his team desperately needed. Absolutely not a milestone win that put him ahead of his mentor in at least one respect -- Roy Williams ran off the court with his head down, only raising it briefly to wave at someone above the tunnel heading into North Carolina’s locker room. He looked for all the world like a man whose team had just won a routine January game.

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