Potential No. 1 NBA Draft pick Cole Anthony will miss 4-6 weeks with knee injury


Potential No. 1 NBA Draft pick Cole Anthony will miss 4-6 weeks with knee injury

The 2020 NBA Draft is looking to be absolutely stacked with guard and wing talent at the top of the draft. Things could change quickly, but it's an intriguing point guard crop that includes Arizona's Nico Mannion, Iowa State's Tyrese Haliburton, and LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL.

But perhaps the best prospect and most well-known player of the 2020 draft point guard crop is North Carolina freshman Cole Anthony. Cole is the son of 11-year NBA veteran Greg Anthony and was a highly touted recruit (No. 3 in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI)) and has lived up to the hype so far. North Carolina announced on Tuesday that Anthony will be out 4-6 weeks after having surgery for a partially torn meniscus in his right knee. 

Before going down with the aforementioned right knee injury, Anthony was averaging 19.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 35.5% from the 3-point line. 

Anthony set the North Carolina record for points in a debut by a freshman, racking up 34 points in an 11-point win over Notre Dame. 

The injury could not have come at a worse time for Roy Williams and the Tar Heels, who just lost to Wofford heading into a matchup with No. 2 Gonzaga. North Carolina is currently 6-4 and appears to be in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in Williams' long and illustrious tenure. Anthony is a do-it-all force for the Tar Heels and has 152 field goal attempts on the season, with no other UNC player having at least 90. 

Following his surgery, Anthony is expected to be out about a month. This shouldn't affect his long-term prospects in terms of the NBA Draft too much, but his injury status is definitely something to keep an eye on as we get closer to June. The Bulls entered Tuesday morning with the seventh best draft lottery odds at the moment — sound familiar? — which carries a 31.9% chance at a top-four pick and a 7.5% chance at the No. 1 pick.

The Bulls may not be in the market for a point guard specifically after drafting Coby White No. 7 overall in 2019 and trading for and then signing Tomas Satoransky to a three-year deal worth $30 million, but at this stage of their rebuild they need star power and that means drafting the best player available in 2020 and that very well could be Anthony. 

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Chicagoland High School Players to Watch In College Hoops This Season

Chicagoland High School Players to Watch In College Hoops This Season

College basketball tips off its season on Tuesday night. As is the case every season, the Chicagoland area has plenty of former players to watch all over the country. 

There are potential NBA draft prospects like Ayo Dosunmu at Illinois and mid-major stars like Loyola's Cameron Krutwig while local players will also play key roles for programs from the ACC to the Pac-12.

Here's a look at some key names to know from the area this season across college basketball. If you have more names to add, be sure to let us know on our Twitter @NBCSPreps

Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois (Morgan Park) -- Returning to school for his sophomore season, the former Morgan Park star has a chance to be a star this season for the Illini. Putting up 13.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, the 6-foot-5 Dosunmu was one of the nation's most productive freshmen as his return gives Illinois a legitimate chance to return to the NCAA tournament. It wouldn't be a surprise at all if Dosunmu pushes All-American status and draws the buzz of NBA draft gurus by the end of the season. 

Nojel Eastern, Purdue (Evanston) -- Now that NCAA tournament hero Carsen Edwards has moved on to the Boston Celtics, the 6-foot-7 Eastern will assume even more responsibilities after a breakout sophomore season with the Boilermakers. Averaging 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game, the former Evanston star blends a unique mix of ball handling and defensive versatility to form a productive two-way player. He'll be one of Purdue's most important players this season.

Javon Freeman-Liberty, Valparaiso (Whitney Young) -- Making a seamless transition from Whitney Young to the Missouri Valley, Freeman was a double-figure scorer for the Crusaders last season. The attacking guard impressed with 11.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game last season. Freeman could be a breakout player in the Missouri Valley this season as his natural scoring acumen is tough to stop. 

Rapolas Ivanauskas, Colgate (Barrington) -- The former Barrington standout is the reigning Patriot League Player of the Year and helped the Raiders to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1996. The 6-foot-10 forward put up 15.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game last season while shooting 43 percent from three-point range. Ivanauskas is one of college basketball's most well-rounded offensive players in the frontcourt thanks to his perimeter scoring.

Cameron Krutwig, Loyola (Jacobs) -- The Ramblers still feature plenty of local stars, including a dynamic freshman class that includes Marquise Kennedy (Brother Rice) and Tom Welch (Naperville North). But Kurtwig is the interior presence and tremendous passer that acts as the heart of Loyola's offense. Krutwig has worked hard to become more mobile on defense this offseason. The junior should push for Missouri Valley Player of the Year honors after putting up 14.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

Loudon Love, Wright State (Geneva) -- One of the best players in the Horizon League, the 6-foot-8 junior was outstanding last season, averaging 15.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. After helping put Geneva on the state map with his play in high school, Love is hoping to take Wright State to the NCAA tournament as they are one of the favorites in the Horizon. Love is one of the best mid-major big men in the country.

Charlie Moore, DePaul (Morgan Park) -- Transferring closer to home after stops at Cal and Kansas, Moore should be DePaul's premier offensive threat this season. The junior guard is a capable playmaker with the ball in his hands as he'll get to run the Blue Demon offense on a deeper and more athletic team. The 5-foot-11 Moore had a tough time finding consistent minutes at Kansas but had a promising freshman season at Cal when he put up 12.2 points and 3.5 assists per game as a starting guard of an NCAA tournament team.

Isaiah Moss, Kansas (Simeon) -- A graduate transfer from Iowa spending his final season with the Jayhawks, Moss gives one of the nation's best teams a perimeter shooter they needed to add. Moss was a steady offensive presence for the Hawkeyes for three seasons, peaking at 11.1 points per game as a sophomore. Last season saw Moss shoot 42 percent from three-point range as his spacing will help the Kansas offense.

Prentiss Nixon, Iowa State (Bolingbrook) -- After a transfer from Colorado State, the 6-foot-2 Bolingbrook product should become a key piece for the Cyclones. A senior, Nixon was a high-scoring force with the Rams, averaging double-figures his final two seasons -- peaking at 16.8 ppg as a junior. Nixon should be a scoring option in an Iowa State rotation that could feature multiple Chicago products this season as George Conditt (Corliss) and Zion Griffin (Hinsdale South) are also on the roster.

Justin Pierce, North Carolina (Glenbard West) -- The William & Mary graduate transfer gets to finish out his career with the Tar Heels. After a successful career and strong junior season with the Tribe, Pierce becomes a potential rotation player for one of the top programs in the country. Pierce averaged a little over 14 points and 8 rebounds per game over the past two seasons. 

Luwane Pipkins, Providence (Bogan) -- Putting up monster scoring numbers at UMass the past three seasons, Pipkins will close out his collegiate career on a promising Friars team. Pipkins at one point averaged 21.2 points and 4.0 assists per game as a sophomore for the Minutemen as he can come in and play a key role at lead guard for a team hoping to make the NCAA tournament. Pipkins should be fun to watch in the Big East.

Nick Rakocevic, USC (St. Joseph) -- The senior center should be one of college basketball's most productive big men this season after nearly averaging a double-double last season. Putting up 14.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest, Rakocevic was one of the Pac-12's best big men last season. USC has high hopes of returning to the NCAA tournament after missing last year as Rakocevic should play a key role.

Justin Smith, Indiana (Stevenson) -- Earning steady minutes his first two seasons in Bloomington, the 6-foot-7 Smith could see heavy minutes on the wing for the Hoosiers. On a team trying to find scoring pop, Smith could be asked to score more this season after being a role player as an underclassmen. The athletic wing put up 8.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season as his minutes should increase as a junior.

Alonzo Verge, Arizona State (Thornton) -- Playing at the junior college level the past two seasons, Verge was one of the nation's best players at that level last season. A two-time JUCO All-American (including first-team honors as a sophomore) Verge averaged 30.9 points per game last season. Verge joins a veteran Sun Devil backcourt that should be a ton of fun to watch as they should be a Pac-12 team pushing for an NCAA tournament bid. 

The Bears are happy that NCAA athletes are about to get paid, but the debate is in the details

USA Today

The Bears are happy that NCAA athletes are about to get paid, but the debate is in the details

The last version of EA Sport’s NCAA Football was released in July of 2013. In June of 2014 EA stopped making it. Up until 2019, Allen Robinson was still playing it. 

Despite being outdated by more than half a decade, it’s so beloved that Robinson – who will sometimes play as himself, because why wouldn’t you – kept it in rotation until this year (before eventually replacing it with Madden).  

Now, after the NCAA announced plans to allow collegiate athletes to be compensated for their likeness, the odds of an updated NCAA Football, not to mention a return to Robinson’s rotation, are looking good. 

“I think that should have always been the case,” Robinson said on Tuesday. “I think it’s good for college sports.” 

The NCAA’s move comes on the heels of the California’s Fair Pay To Play Act, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom back in late September. The legislation sets a path for collegiate athletes in the state to benefit off their likeness, whether it be from sponsorships, appearances, video games, etc. And while that was set to go into effect in 2023, the NCAA’s proposed allowance would begin in 2021. It’s a step in the right direction, but now comes the hard part. 

“I think that it’s going to be difficult to be fair for all the student athletes,” Chase Daniel said. “I’ve seen some of the arguments back and forth, and you know, are your best players paid more? Are they all paid the same? How does that affect the booster status? Will schools that are more of a rich-booster school get a lot more players because they can pay more? I don’t know. It’s a slippery slope.” 

Among those who talked with media on Tuesday afternoon, there was universally-strong support for systemic changes within the NCAA. “I think nowadays, student athletes are smarter,” Daniel said. “I do think they, for the most part, want to be paid.” Commitment to playing college sports is a full-time job, and the scholarship money that many defenders of amateurism point to doesn’t exactly go as far as you’d think. 

“I went through it, a lot of guys went through it,” he added. “We were getting scholarship checks that were seven, eight hundred bucks a month in Columbia, Missouri. When rent is $450, after groceries and everything else, you’re left with 200 bucks to spend.” 

There’s also the question of fund allocation. Just how much revenue is generated? Who’s actually collecting it, and how far does it stretch? 

“I think they’ll find a way to distribute everything equally. I think they’ll figure it out,” Robinson said. “I think it’s one of those things where you look at the Power 5 conferences bringing in a boatload of money.” 

Bilal Nichols, who played outside of the Power 5 in the FCS, also said he loved the decision. Especially when it comes to benefiting off your own likeness, players like Nichols, who was drafted out of Delaware, can still see some benefits. It’s also a helpful recruiting tool, but most importantly, according to Nichols, it’s just the right thing to do. 

“I feel like they deserve it,” he said. “They work hard, and I feel like they put in the work for it, so why not enjoy the fruits of their labor?” 

Neither Nichols, Daniel, or Robinson had much of an idea of what the pay scale could look like, or how the NCAA planned to even approach it. There was, though, an outside-the-box suggestion from Trey Burton. 

“I’m a big believer in when you’re done with college, there being a fund for you to be able to draw from,” the tight end said. “I don’t think it should be a couple thousands of dollars, I think it should be a couple hundred a month. And then, at the end of the careers, when they’re done – whether they get their degree or play for four years – there’s a fund of X amount of dollars they can draw out yearly.” 

Burton said that a fund like that would be useful to undrafted players – like himself – as they try to sort through their options. Such a tiny percentage of college players continue on at any professional level, much less being taken in the NFL Draft. 

“I understand the argument of amateurism,” he said. “You don’t want to have to pay these guys because then it turns into who gets to pay who more, and recruiting. I understand that, but I do think that they do need more money than they’re getting currently.”

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