It took North Carolina freshman Cole Anthony just 37 minutes to take an ax to the ACC record books in his college debut Wednesday night. In a 76-65 win for the No. 9 Tar Heels over ACC foe Notre Dame, the first-year point guard turned in 34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
His 34 points go down as the most for a freshman in his UNC debut. Considering it is one of the most storied programs in all of college basketball, that's insanely impressive. Perhaps even more impressive is that Anthony's 34 points are the most of any ACC freshman all-time in his debut game.
Talk about a tremendous way to start a college career.
Anthony isn't some one-hit wonder, either. He was the No. 4 overall recruit in the Class of 2019, the McDonald's All-American Game MVP, and the No. 1-ranked prospect coming out of Virginia. He also debuted at No. 1 in ourback in September. This isn't a fluke. Nor will it be a fluke when he continues to put up eye-popping numbers this season.
It took all of one game to find out what Roy Williams has been gushing about all preseason: Anthony, the second-youngest player on UNC's roster, is the unquestioned, no-doubt-about-it No. 1 option for this top-10 Tar Heels team.
Anthony's damage Wednesday night came on an efficient 12-of-24 shooting night that included makes on six of his 11 3-point attempts. He led the team in points, assists, rebounds and steals with his most impressive stretch coming in a second half barrage in which he nailed four 3-pointers in a 4-minute span that helped UNC build a 61-50 lead.
Notre Dame never got within single digits after that. Anthony added eight more points and an assist to his stat sheet thereafter for good measure.
The win moves UNC to a 1-0 start for the 15th consecutive season. The Tar Heels face UNC-Wilmington on the road Friday.