Analyzing Cole Anthony, Tre Jones, and Wendell Moore Jr.

February 10th, 2020

by Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch Cole Anthony and North Carolina square off against Duke in a highly competitive, ACC college basketball game that took place on February 8th.  North Carolina had jumped off to a considerable lead by the end of the first half, but Duke kept chipping away at the lead, and it was a fun, entertaining match in which Tre Jones made a game tying mid-range jumper to send it to overtime, and Wendell Moore Jr. scored on a game winning tip-in at the buzzer. There was some controversy on when he inadvertently collided into an opponent that led to a North Carolina turnover, but Moore was able to make clutch plays to be the hero of this contest, and the standout performers were Cole Anthony, Tre Jones, and Wendell Moore Jr.  Here are my thoughts on how they and other various prospects fared, as well as how their games may stack up for the NBA.

North Carolina's freshman point guard, Cole Anthony had a solid showing in his team's loss to Duke. (Photo courtesy of Brian Hamilton's article from The Athletic, via https://theathletic.com/1593336/2020/02/09/this-is-the-cole-anthony-that-north-carolina-needs/)
North Carolina’s freshman point guard, Cole Anthony had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Duke. (Photo courtesy of Brian Hamilton’s article from The Athletic, via https://theathletic.com/1593336/2020/02/09/this-is-the-cole-anthony-that-north-carolina-needs/)

North Carolina’s freshman point guard, Cole Anthony had a solid showing in his team’s tough overtime loss to Duke. He excelled as a scorer and rebounder on the floor, and he showed off very good all-around skills when he was on the court.

Anthony did a good job of scoring on speedy drives to the basket. Early on, he was able to quickly split a double team to score on a floater while also drawing an extra free throw afterwards. He also excelled at scoring on quick drives in transition, as he has superb foot speed that allows him to regularly get past his man. He also did a good job of drawing fouls upon his defenders. However, he had trouble consistently scoring on floaters, and he also had his shot blocked once.

He also showed an adequate ability to knock down jumpers to provide some floor spacing for his team. He did a good job of making pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he also used a pump fake to draw a foul on a defender to get to the free throw line another time. Anthony also made an open three early in the second half, but he also struggled to make pull-up threes from beyond the arc.

Plus, he also displayed decent playmaking skills. Anthony is a speedy playmaker that can quickly get into the lane, and he does a good job of passing off the dribble, as he can kick balls out to shooters and also find teammates in transition to set up scores for them. He also will push the ball up the floor off of steals and defensive rebounds. However, sometimes he can tend to over-dribble, as he had the ball poked away from him several times. He also threw a hasty pass intended for a cutter another time that ended up being picked off.

Anthony did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball. He was active at hauling in boards from both ends of the floor, and he would often push the ball up the floor after getting defensive rebounds for his team.

He also played decent defense. Anthony was quite active as a help defender, as he managed to take a ball away from an opponent off of a rebound to get a steal, and he also deflected a pass out of bounds. He would actively contest shots off drives and jumpers to force misses, and he also successfully drew a charge in transition due to good positioning. Sometimes though, he would struggle to guard people off the dribble. On occasion, he would have trouble staying in front of his man, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. He also got beat on a shot fake that led him to allow a score another time. Also, there was one play where he was late to get back, and ended up fouling an opponent on the break. In addition, there was one play where he tried to guard a taller shooter, but his opponent was able to shoot over him to score on a three-point shot.

In general, Cole Anthony played well in his team’s loss to Duke. He exceeded expectations, as he especially managed to rebound from having a poor showing in his team’s loss to Florida State. Anthony is a very athletic, skilled playmaker that will likely be a lottery pick in the 2020 draft, as he is a player that may have the potential to be a star at the next level, and he has the skills to be a solid starter in the NBA.

Duke's sophomore point guard, Tre Jones played well, especially down the stretch, to lift his team to a hard-fought, overtime victory over North Carolina. (Photo: Gerry Broome/The Associated Press, via the North State Journal.)
Duke’s sophomore point guard, Tre Jones played well, especially down the stretch, to lift his team to a hard-fought, overtime victory over North Carolina. (Photo: Gerry Broome/The Associated Press, via the North State Journal.)

Duke’s sophomore point guard, Tre Jones put forth a solid performance in his team’s overtime win over North Carolina, as he especially excelled at making plays down the stretch to get his team the victory. He made big shots when they counted, and he generally made solid plays when he was on the court.

Jones did a very good job of scoring on quick, strong drives to the basket. He would score on speedy drives in transition, and he also excelled at drawing fouls to get to the foul line. He also excelled at scoring on floaters and layups, and he has an array of dribble moves that he can use to get past his man. Sometimes though, he would miss on off-balanced shots, but Jones especially excelled at scoring in crunch time.

However, he struggled to consistently knock down jumpers on offense. He showed the ability to make pull-up jumpers from the mid range area, and he also made a game tying mid-range jumper off the dribble, but he also missed a handful of shots as well. Jones also was unable to make any of his three-point shots that he hoisted up from beyond the arc.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills. Jones threw solid interior passes, as he can find teammates on the move to notch assists, and he will look to find the open man on offense. Sometimes though, he will try to fit balls into tight windows, as he had a couple of his passes intercepted. In addition, he also lost a ball on a drive another time.

Jones also was quite active at crashing the glass, as he would chase down balls to get defensive boards, and he also would push the ball up the floor afterwards.

Defensively, he looked to be perhaps above average. He will poke balls away to get steals, and he also managed to get his hands on a pass to collect another. Also, he was able to contest a pull-up three to force a miss. Sometimes though, he may not be focused, as he trailed his man on a ball screen to allow a long two, and he also was late to get back and then got beat off of a drive to allow a score in transition. He also struggled to stay in front of his man at times. Also, he bit on a pump fake once, which led him to foul his opponent on a mid-range shot.

Overall, Tre Jones had a solid showing in his team’s overtime win over North Carolina. He made big shots down the stretch, and he was able to especially excel late in the second half to help send it to overtime. He is an agile, defensive minded point guard that also has the foot speed to regularly get scores off the dribble, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the mid to late first round range of the upcoming draft.

Wendell Moore had a terrific showing, and made the clutch shot in overtime to get his team a decisive, go-ahead victory over North Carolina.  (Photo: Gerry Broome/The Associated Press, via AP News.)
Duke’s freshman swingman, Wendell Moore played very well, as he notched a double-double and also made the game winning shot to lift his team to a win over North Carolina in overtime. (Photo: Gerry Broome/The Associated Press, via AP News.)

Duke’s 6-6 freshman swingman, Wendell Moore Jr. had a tremendous performance in his team’s win over North Carolina, and after being out due to a hand injury recently, this may have been his statement game to remind NBA teams and scouts why he was considered to be a first round pick in the first place.

Moore played very good defense, and he is a feisty, rangy defender that can also lock down his man. He was able to rotate to block a shot hard in the post out of bounds to showcase his solid athletic gifts and timing, and he really was able to get up to do so that time. Plus, he also managed to rip a ball away from an opposing ball handler to get a steal. In overtime, he applied heavy ball pressure when guarding an opponent in the backcourt, and his collision helped prompt the opposing team to commit a passing turnover. Moore will also use his length to contest jumpers to force misses, as he was able to close out on a mid-range shooter to get a stop for his team. Sometimes though, he can be undisciplined defensively. He was called for a foul when guarding an opposing ball handler once. Another time, he bit wildly on a pump fake, which led him to allow an opponent to score on a long two-point shot.

Also, Moore did a fairly good job of attacking the basket to garner scores. He excelled at scoring in transition as well as off of put backs, and he also would drive in aggressively to get scores and free throws for his team. However, Moore struggled to make jump shots, as he missed on a mid-range shot from the left elbow once, and he also missed an open three that he hoisted up from beyond the arc.

Plus, Moore did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball. He hauled in numerous boards on both ends of the floor, as he would leap up to get some tough boards in traffic, and he can jump really high to get them.

Adding to that, he also displayed decent playmaking skills. He is an unselfish player that sees the floor well, as he can throw sharp interior passes, and he can throw passes off the dribble to set up scores for his teammates. However, he also committed a couple of ball handling turnovers. He got stripped on a drive to lose the ball once, and he also was called for a charging foul another time.

In summary, Wendell Moore Jr. is a tough, gritty swingman that has a wide array of skills that could prove to be useful for the next level, and this may have been his best performance of the season to date. He can score on energy plays and on strong drives to the basket, and he also is a very good rebounder and defender. Plus, he also possesses above average playmaking skills, as he will move the basketball to help the offense maintain its flow. Moore will need to improve his jump shot, but right now, he may be a good candidate to go in the late first to the second round range. He’ll need to be a more consistent player on a night to night basis, but it’s clear from his strong performance in this game in his team’s win over North Carolina that Moore is a skilled basketball player that has a lot of upside as a prospect for the NBA.

For Duke’s 6-10 freshman center, Vernon Carey Jr., it was a tale of two halves. He had a tremendous first half, as he scored 18 points in that time span, and he was absolutely dominant in the post while showing the ability to score off of cuts and drives to the basket, as he seemed to put his full repertoire on display for NBA teams and scouts to see.

In the second half, it was a different story. North Carolina started crowding him down low rather than send one guy to front him, and it was tougher for Duke to throw entry passes to him. Carey suddenly was unable to make a basket, and he ended up being plagued with turnovers and foul trouble, as he ended up fouling out late in regulation. In all though, Carey had a decent showing, but his second half struggles raise some concerns about how well he would transition his game to the NBA.

Carey did a good job of scoring in the post. He often would get deep position down low early on, as he would often seal his man, which would enable him to get easy scores around the basket. He also showed a knack for getting to the foul line. Carey has great strength and a decent set of power moves he can use to get scores on the block. However, in the second half, he had trouble scoring in traffic, as he even had a shot blocked from around the basket.

He also did a good job of scoring on strong drives to the basket. Carey would pick and choose his spots to take the ball to the rim, as he was able to use a pump fake to score on a layup, and he also scored on a floater while getting an extra free throw another time.

He also showed a fairly good ability to score on hustle plays. Carey was able to score on a backdoor cut while getting an extra free throw. However, he also had his shot blocked on a put back later in this game. Unfortunately, Carey struggled to knock down jumpers, as he missed on a mid-range shot from the baseline, and he also hoisted up a three-point shot that missed everything in the second half. Carey will need to improve his long-range shooting and take more jumpers to be able to diversify his game, which can be especially helpful when he’s struggling to get post touches or to score in the paint.

Also, Carey was a bit turnover prone on offense. He had a tendency to get the ball poked away when trying to score off the dribble or in the paint, and he had trouble protecting the basketball. On the plus side, he will look to keep the ball moving, as he can hit a cutter and find an open shooter at times to set up scoring chances for his teammates.

He also did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball. Carey was able to get boards on both ends of the floor, but it also seemed like he didn’t get enough rebounds overall in this game, and he also committed an over the back foul once as he was boxed out by an opponent.

He will also need to improve his defense, as he frequently struggled with his on-ball defense in this game. For the positives, Carey will look to get his hands on balls, and he was able to deflect a pass out of bounds. He also was able to contest a couple of shots in the post to force misses. However, Carey doesn’t possess great foot speed, as he often had trouble staying in front of his man when guarding them off the dribble, as he would frequently get beat, which would lead his team to commit fouls and allow scores. He also had trouble guarding shooters, as he have some momentary lapses and would give up way too much space to them, which would cause him to allow opponents to score on jumpers.

Overall, Vernon Carey Jr. had some good moments in this game, as nearly all of them seemed to come in the first half for him, but his second half woes may highlight why he may not be ranked higher as a prospect for this year’s draft. He is a big-bodied, low post scoring center that will be playing at a level where they are moving away from traditional centers and low post players. He also seems to lack the foot speed or the instincts to guard opponents out on the perimeter, and he will have to be more comfortable in taking jumpers in games. Right now, if he can show that he can guard quicker players and show that he can knock down jump shots, at best he could be like a poor man’s Zach Randolph in the NBA. In a worst-case scenario, his game might not pan out, and he could end up finding himself at the end of team’s rosters at the next level similar to Jared Sullinger. Currently, Carey projects to go in the mid to late first round, as he could end up being a rotational big man in the association.

Duke’s freshman swingman, Cassius Stanley had some good moments at times in his team’s win over North Carolina. He excelled at attacking the basket, and was able to show off some playmaking and defensive skills, but he also struggled to knock down jumpers and with his on-ball defense at times in this game.

Stanley did a decent job of scoring on aggressive drives to the basket. He can score on strong moves to the hoop, and he also showed a knack for drawing fouls upon his defenders to get to the foul line. He also managed to score on a speedy layup off of a drive in transition once. However, he had trouble making floaters consistently, and sometimes he would struggle to score in traffic. He had an opportunity to score on the break late in regulation, but he waited perhaps a bit too long, and ended up having his shot blocked by Brooks instead.

He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He showed a penchant for scoring on cuts to the hoop, and he also managed to score on a dunk once.

Stanley had trouble knocking down jumpers consistently, though. He was able to make a corner three, but struggled to make three-point shots for most of this game, and he also struggled to make pull-up jumpers from the mid-range area.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills in this game. Stanley is an unselfish player that will move the basketball, as he was able to find the open man to set up scores for his teammates. He also was able to kick a ball out to a shooter off of a drive once. However, sometimes he can be inaccurate with his passes, and he had one pass that was intercepted.

Also, he was quite active on the glass, as he would leap up to haul in boards on both sides of the ball.

Defensively, Stanley looked to be about average. He is an active help defender that can get steals, as he can intercept passes and poke balls away to do so. He also managed to contest a turnaround jumper in the post to force a miss. However, he can tend to be undisciplined defensively, as he bit on a pump fake to allow a score on a drive, and he also was called for a reach-in foul when going for a steal attempt. Other times, he would be caught out of position, which would cause him to get beat off the dribble to allow scores.

In this game, Cassius Stanley had some good and bad moments in his team’s win over North Carolina. He is a gifted athlete that can throw down some highlight reel worthy dunks on the break, but he can struggle to be as good in the half court. He has struggled to make jump shots consistently, and he also can sometimes lose his focus defensively. Right now, he is a very athletic swingman that could project to excel on both ends of the floor, but he will need to improve his jump shot. He could be a very good value pick for a team in the late first to the second round range, and he is a player that may possess considerable upside as a prospect for the NBA.

North Carolina’s 6-9 junior center, Garrison Brooks had a solid showing in his team’s tough loss to Duke. He excelled as a scorer in this game, as he particularly excelled at scoring in the post and on mid-range jumpers, but he didn’t seem to grab enough rebounds, and he also committed plenty of turnovers on offense.

Brooks excelled as a scorer in the post, as he would score on quick jump hooks, and he would use power moves to get strong scores around the basket. Sometimes he would miss on turnaround jumpers, but generally he excelled at scoring on the block.

Plus, he also showed a knack for making mid-range jumpers, as he can do so off the catch or dribble. He also excelled at scoring on hustle plays, as he would get scores off of cuts and in transition, and he even caught a lob after cutting to the hoop to score on an alley-oop dunk.

However, he was quite turnover prone on offense. He tended to throw hasty, inaccurate passes that would go astray, and he had a couple of them get intercepted. He also was called for setting a moving screen, and he also was called for traveling in the post another time. For the positives, Brooks was able to throw a sharp pass to find a teammate on the move to set up a score for him in transition. He also set a hard screen another time to help get a teammate an open look to score on a separate play.

He was able to chip in to get a few boards, as he would leap up to get some defensive rebounds, and he also would sometimes establish the inside position. On the downside, it seemed like he didn’t get enough rebounds in this game.

Defensively, he looked to be fairly average. He is a fairly active help defender, as he was able to block a shot off of a drive on the break, and he also intercepted a pass to get a steal.   He would also contest jumpers, as he would use his length to force misses. Sometimes though, he would allow opponents to get deep position in the post, which would cause him to allow scores. Other times, he would be out of position, as he can be caught ball watching and lose his track of his man. Other times, he may be late on his rotations, which can lead him prone to committing fouls.

Overall, Garrison Brooks is a fairly athletic, energetic big man that did a good job of scoring the basketball in this game. He shot the ball well, as he possesses a solid shooting touch to garner scores in the post as well as from mid-range. He may need to extend his shooting range to beyond the arc over time, and he will need to be a more focused rebounder and defender in games. Currently, he has flown under the radar as a draft prospect, but he could be a second round pick for the 2021 draft.

Other Notes:

North Carolina’s 6-8 swingman, Leaky Black also played well in this game, as he nearly was able to collect a triple-double in his team’s loss to Duke. He was the fill-in-the-blanks glue guy that helped do the little things to keep his team in the contest.

In this game, he displayed solid playmaking skills. He threw solid passes, as he threw an accurate lob pass to a cutter and he would consistently find the open man to notch assists. Black sees the floor well, and he also is a fairly good ball handler. Sometimes though, he would commit ball-handling turnovers, as he had a couple of balls ripped away from him, and he also was called for traveling another time as his foot seemed to slip after he tried to plant his foot.

Black did a good job of rebounding the basketball. He would swoop in to collect multiple boards on both ends of the floor. He would tend to bring the ball up the court off of defensive rebounds, and sometimes he would push the pace. He also managed to dive for a ball on the ground to get a defensive rebound another time.

He also played adequate defense. He will play passing lanes and jump on loose balls to get steals and deflections for his team, and he also would contest shots off the dribble to force misses. Sometimes he would struggle to guard quicker players off the dribble, as this would lead him to commit reach-in fouls, and he also would occasionally get beat off the dribble to allow scores. There was another play in the first half where he didn’t pressure the passer enough, as this led his opponent to be able to throw a clean entry pass to set up a score for an opponent in the post.

Black also did a good job of scoring on hustle plays. He excelled at scoring in transition as well as on put backs, and he was able to throw down an emphatic jam on the break. Plus, he also used a pump fake to make a pull-up jumper from just inside the arc. However, he had trouble making jumpers consistently, as he missed all of his threes in this game.

Overall, Leaky Black is a tall, athletic swingman that has a variety of skills that could prove to be useful for the next level. He has the playmaking skills to run the point if needed to do so, and he also possesses decent defensive skills. He will need to improve his jump shot and ability to create his own shot consistently. Currently, he has flown under the radar as a draft prospect, but he could project to be a second round prospect for the 2021 draft, as he could end up thriving as a role player in the NBA.

North Carolina’s 6-10 freshman center, Armando Bacot had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Duke. He flashed an adequate ability to score in the post as well as off high post drives, though he also would sometimes struggle to score in traffic. He especially excelled as a scorer in transition, as he is an above average athlete that would score on high motor plays. He was able to catch a long pass on the break to score on a powerful two-handed dunk, and he also scored as a trailer in transition another time while drawing an extra free throw. Plus, he also showed some range by making an open mid-range jumper in this game.

He was able to get some rebounds, as he was able to haul in boards on both ends of the floor. Bacot looked to be about average defensively. He did a good job of blocking shots to help his protect the paint, but he also had some trouble defending in the post as well as on drives. He would allow opponents to get easy catches in the post and would give up deep position, which would cause him to commit fouls and allow scores. Another time, he was late to rotate and then bit on a pump fake on a drive, which led him to allow his opponent to score that time.

Overall, Bacot is an energetic big man that can get scores in the paint, but he will need to improve his perimeter skills and show that he can consistently guard quicker players on the floor. Right now, he may need to stay in school to hone his game, but he could end up going in the late first to the second round range in the 2021 draft.

North Carolina’s 6-3 senior guard, Christian Keeling excelled at making jumpers, as he especially excelled at making pull-up jumpers from the mid-range. He also was able to make an open spot-up three. He struggled to guard his man defensively though, as he would tend to commit fouls and allow scores. Right now, Keeling is a fairly athletic, skilled combo guard that can put up points in a hurry, and he could end up making an NBA team’s summer league roster later this year.

6-7 senior forward, Justin Pierce played well in limited minutes for North Carolina in his team’s loss to Duke. He shot the ball well, as he ran off of a ball screen to make an open three, and he also made an open mid-range jumper. He also was able to score on a strong drive, as well as on a put back. Overall, though he may not be an elite athlete, he made solid, crafty plays on offense, and Pierce is a skilled player that could end up being a solid addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.

Unfortunately for Duke’s freshman forward, Matthew Hurt, he didn’t really do much of anything, except get into foul trouble and sit on the bench for most of the time. He didn’t really have much of an impact in this game, and he really seemed to hurt his team with his inability to rebound or defend.

Though he’s known for being a sharpshooter, he was held scoreless in this game. He missed a deep three, and he also missed on a contested leaner off of a baseline drive. Hurt did manage to draw a non-shooting foul after cutting to the post to get the ball. He did manage to kick a ball out to shooter off of a drive to notch an assist.

However, he grabbed zero rebounds in this game, as he did not rebound the ball well.

Defensively, he was able to stay in front of a high post drive to force a miss, and he also was able to get a steal in this game. However, he often had trouble guarding opponents off the dribble, and he was prone to committing silly fouls. He also jogged back in transition as he was late to defend an opponent in transition, and he ended up fouling him to allow the score and an extra free throw, and he didn’t seem to give great effort on that play.

Overall, this was not a good game for Matthew Hurt, and it may raise even bigger questions as to how well he can make the transition to the NBA. His draft stock seems to largely be based on his sharpshooting skills, especially for a player his age and height, but when he’s not making shots on offense, it’s uncertain if he can make a positive impact to a team on a daily basis. He really struggled to rebound or defend, and he was left on the bench for pretty much the entire second half and overtime. He also may only possess fairly average athletic gifts, so his NBA future may hinge largely on his jump shot and ability (or inability) to guard players. Right now, he will need to significantly improve upon his weaknesses, but in this year’s draft, he could still end up being a second round pick, as he could perhaps be a similar player to former Los Angeles Lakers forward, Ryan Kelly in the NBA.