Race between Cole Anthony, Anthony Edwards at top of 2020 NBA Draft starts now

(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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NBA Draft
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

With college basketball opening Tuesday, the 2020 NBA Draft will be the destination of several of the nation’s top freshmen. We look at two of the best here.

As college basketball kicks off this week, the noise on NBA Draft prospects won’t be too far behind. We’ll get our early impressions and a lot of projections will start to settle in for next June within the first few weeks of play.

Remember that entering last season, Duke’s RJ Barrett was the consensus No. 1 overall prospect and, despite living up to every piece of hype written about him, it only took a matter of games before he was supplanted by his own teammate, Zion Williamson, as the gem of the 2019 class.

We’re now onto a new group, deep with young, dynamic guards. In the top five of virtually every preseason draft list you will find two names: North Carolina’s Cole Anthony and Georgia’s Anthony Edwards. These two enter the season as the top two guard prospects in the college game.

I watched both play multiple times as high schoolers and have detailed strengths, weaknesses and which player has the edge in the key evaluative categories.

Here’s where both stand heading into the season:

Cole Anthony, University of North Carolina, 6’3″, 190 pounds

  • ESPN 2020 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings-No. 4 overall, No. 2 PG
  • CBS Sports 2020 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings-No. 1 overall, No. 1 PG
  • Nbadraft.net Top 100 Big Board-No. 6 overall, No. 3 PG

Anthony Edwards, University of Georgia, 6’5″, 225 pounds

  • ESPN 2020 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings-No. 1 overall, No. 1 SG
  • CBS Sports 2020 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings-No. 2 overall, No. 1 SG
  • Nbadraft.net Top 100 Big Board-No. 1 overall, No. 1 PG

Cole Anthony, the son of former player and current analyst Greg Anthony enters college basketball after averaging 18 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game at the prestigious Oak Hill Academy last season. The prior summer, he was MVP of the very competitive Nike EYBL.

Anthony Edwards, meanwhile, comes in with the best package of translatable attributes in this year’s group, as an explosive scoring machine. He averaged 25.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per game for Holy Spirit Prep last year.

Both are remarkably talented, but a closer breakdown shows distinct differences.