Cole Anthony dazzles in record-breaking UNC debut

Cole Anthony lived up to the hype that had him on preseason All-America lists in his UNC debut. (Grant Halverson/Getty)

College basketball is looking to fill the star void left by Zion Williamson and company.

Cole Anthony raised his hand on Wednesday.

The much-hyped North Carolina freshman dazzled in a record-breaking debut, logging 34 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in a 76-65 win over Notre Dame in Chapel Hill.

Anthony breaks UNC scoring record

The scoring mark breaks the record for a UNC debut, besting Rashad McCants’ 28-point effort in 2002. That also means he outscored Michael Jordan, Tyler Hansbrough, Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison and any other Tar Heels star that comes to mind in their first game wearing powder blue.

Anthony, a 6-2 point guard, did most of his damage from behind the arc, hitting 6-of-11 3-point attempts while showing off the range and athleticism that made him the No. 4 prospect in the nation.

He logged 11 points in a first half that saw Notre Dame take a 31-30 lead, but his 23-point outburst after halftime propelled UNC to the double-digit victory.

Lot of hype

After years of elite prospects eschewing UNC and Roy Williams as North Carolina was embroiled in an academic scandal, Anthony arrives in Chapel Hill with as much hype as any Tar Heels freshman since Harrison Barnes was the nation’s top prospect in 2010.

A projected lottery pick, Anthony showed up on preseason All-America and National Player of the Year lists before playing a game.

So far, he’s off to a good start.

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