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Cole Anthony Lived up to the Hype in Incredible North Carolina Debut

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 06: Cole Anthony #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts after making a three-point basket against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the second half at the Dean Smith Center on November 06, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 76-65. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The college basketball world was abuzz on Wednesday night, as five-star recruit Cole Anthony made his debut for the North Carolina Tar Heels. With there being a superstar void in the NCAA, left by the departure of Zion Williamson for the NBA, Anthony admirably filled those shoes.

North Carolina defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 76-65 in the Tar Heels' home opener. Plenty of credit can be given to Anthony, who scored 34 points, the most ever by a North Carolina freshman in their debut. The previous record holder was Rashad McCants, who recorded 28 points against the Penn State Nittany Lions in 2002.

The Tar Heels shook off the rust in the second half, as Anthony found his shooting stroke and took off for a huge night.

Anthony was able to log a double-double by grabbing 11 rebounds, and he also dished out 5 assists, making him the first freshman in the ACC to tally a 30-10-5 stat-line in their debut in the past 20 seasons.

Anthony entered his freshman season with lofty expectations. He's considered a favorite to win the Naismith College Player of the Year and in contention to be the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft, and he just showed everyone why.

Simply put, Cole Anthony lived up to the hype, and his debut has made him a must-watch player throughout the 2019-20 campaign.