Stone Cole Killer
News Flash: Cole Anthony is good. Really, really good.
In a sea of talented guards, the 6-3 point guard from New York and son of former NBA veteran Greg Anthony has all of the tools. He is the best player in the country in our book.
Simply put, he's an uber-elite, 5-star, McDonalds All-American lock. And he could be the number one overall prospect in the class of 2019 once things are all sorted out.
He also has his father's insatiable competitive drive that he showed us at UNLV back in the early 1990's.
"He's always had that inner self belief and he loves to compete," his father, Greg, told THI. "So those are two traits that tend to translate well in high-level athletics. You want to have confidence in your ability. And you also want to go out and see where you are, as a player, in relation to everyone else. And so he's always had that.
“That's just who he is. That's not necessarily something you can teach in terms of competing. But generally, you either love to compete or you don't. So, in his case, he just loves to compete."
On the court, Anthony appears to have no chink in his armor. He's got also so many traits that are conducive to winning. He handles and passes as well or better than any other guards that we've laid eyes on in the last few years. He's calm, cool and poised. He never gets rattled and he can score, run the offense and lock in on defense.
And he's gotten better in several areas over the past year as well. His game and his mind for the game continues to move forward.
"He continues to get better in all areas,” his father said. “I think the most important areas are his leadership and how he handles adversity. And also, he is a great teammate.”
Everyone in the basketball media knows that the family has been clear they won't talk about his high-profile recruitment. They consider the matter private and won't discuss visits, offers, specific pitches that Villanova, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas or any other schools are selling. The subject is off limits.
In fact, the Anthony camp isn't really doing much thinking about his recruitment at all right now, even as all of the elite college coaches line up on wooden bleachers to see him when during the open evaluation periods, like they all did back in April.
There is a plan, however, as the former UNLV guard explained.
"Well, we really haven't focused at all on recruiting, to be honest with you. Of course, you have conversations, but the way that college athletics are, especially with basketball, things are so transient today. When I played, you could commit in the ninth grade to where you wanted to go, you knew who you were going to play for and you knew what guys you were going to play with.
"It's just a different environment today. So we've tended to not really focus on that. We're probably going to make a decision next Spring, which gives us an opportunity to start focusing on schools, and systems and coaches and personnel and all of that stuff for the upcoming season."
So for now, recruitniks will have to be patient as the blue-chip point guard isn't even thinking about where he may want to go to school. And the college coaches that are involved don't have a great pulse on it either. They'll fully admit it.
To get a college coaches’ perspective on Anthony, THI reached out to two assistants, who would only agree to speak anonymously due to NCAA rules on publicly commenting on unsigned prospects. Both assistants are on staffs that are recruiting the elite floor general.
"We know it's going to be a big, high-level recruitment and all we can do is be consistent and be there to show him how much we want him. We don't have a real good knowledge of where he is and who he prefers. But we'll stay in there for as long as we can," said one.
"Have no idea where we stand but like our conversations. All we can do is swing for the for the fences and hope we connect," said the other.