CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)North Carolina star freshman point guard Cole Anthony is expected to miss four to six weeks after having arthroscopic knee surgery.
The school says Anthony had the procedure Monday to treat a partially torn meniscus in his right knee. He had missed Sunday’s loss to Wofford due to the injury, with UNC saying then that he was out indefinitely as treatment options were being evaluated.
Widely regarded as a potential NBA lottery pick if he enters the draft after one season, Anthony is averaging 19.1 points to rank second nationally among freshmen and has been the Tar Heels’ best player at creating his own shot. He led the team in scoring in six of his nine games this season, starting when he had 34 points against Notre Dame for the most points ever by an Atlantic Coast Conference freshman in his first game.
Anthony is also averaging 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists, though he’s shooting 36.8% from the field.
Still, the Tar Heels have had their offensive troubles even with Anthony in the lineup. They’re averaging 68.4 points and shooting 39.8% on the season, the lowest totals in 17 seasons under Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams.
The Tar Heels (6-4) are unranked for the first time since February 2014 after three straight losses. They visit No. 2 Gonzaga on Wednesday night before facing UCLA on Saturday in Las Vegas for the CBS Sports Classic.
”Obviously not having a player of Cole’s caliber will be a tremendous challenge to our young team, but we have to play,” Williams said in a statement. ”No one player is going to replace the production Cole Anthony gives us, so it’s up to everyone who puts on a North Carolina jersey to raise his game and help our team play better.”
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