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ACC Roundup - Cole Anthony Back?

If not it won’t be long

NCAA Basketball: Miami-Florida at North Carolina
Jan 25, 2020; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams laughs with North Carolina Tar Heels guard Cole Anthony, who is injured, as the North Carolina Tar Heels play the Miami Hurricanes during the second half at Dean E. Smith Center. The North Carolina Tar Heels won 94-71. 
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

In Saturday’s ACC action, Georgia Tech takes on Notre Dame in South Bend, Louisville visits NC State, Florida State hazards Cassell to play the Hokies, Clemson and Wake Forest renew pleasantries and Boston College jets down to Chapel Hill.

And it’s possible that they’ll be the first team to see post-injury Cole Anthony. Ol’ Roy Williams says it’s ‘probable.’

So what to expect there? Well maybe just the unexpected. Everyone will be glad to have him back but as we said before he went out, he’s a volume scorer. While he was out, Garrison Brooks emerged as a terrific player. Brandon Robinson has really come on. Everyone will have to adjust.

And then there’s the basic question of how will he do? He’s a talented player but he’s missed several weeks and as Coach K once said, when you return from an injury, you’re never as good as you were before.

BC has shown some heart but we’ll have to take UNC here.

Georgia Tech is a pretty tough team to be just 10-11. This game is going to be fun because it’s a great defense - Tech - against a great offense - Notre Dame. The Irish have been getting better lately so this should be exciting. We’ll take the Irish though.

Louisville has been winning but not by much: the Cards beat Notre Dame by three, went to OT with Pitt and knocked off Georgia Tech by four. Clemson and BC were both bigger wins - the Tigers lost by 18 and the Eagles by 17 - but both teams hung around for a bit before Louisville’s talent did them in later in the game.

State’s a bit better and they’re still mad about the loss to UNC. So we could see an upset here.

We could see Virginia Tech pulling an upset over FSU, but only if they get really hot from outside. The ‘Noles are taller and more athletic and they get after it on D. The Hokies would have to rain threes to pull this off.

Wake has shown some signs of life but they certainly aren’t consistent. And while Clemson is just 11-9, they always play hard and especially on defense. So we’ll take the Tigers.

Pitt’s Au’Diese Toney was sensational at Duke this week which leads to the obvious question: where did that come from?

As it turns out, Toney has been dealing with a lot this semester. He was very close to his grandmother who passed away in August.

As we try to mention from time to time, athletes entertain us but they have the same blessings and burdens the rest of us deal with. We see them in short increments and often don't think of their lives off the court.

We saw this news on the same day that Ohio State’s DJ Carton stepped away from the game citing mental health concerns.

Watching people play this game at a very high level is unbelievably fun but it’s a good idea to remember they take the uniform off and are just people muddling through life like the rest of us.

To return to yesterday’s topic briefly, Coach K always urges the Crazies to be creative but classy. We’d add a small corollary: there’s no point in being unnecessarily cruel.

Just as an example, yes, Louisville’s Chris Mack looks like Dobby the House Elf. There would never be a reason to bring his children into that joke (not that anyone has or would).

Not that we’d have expected people to be cruel to Toney but we’re glad that no one was. We’ll just leave this with two very different examples.

When Steve Kerr was at Arizona, his father, Malcolm, was president of the American University of Beirut and in 1984, was shot dead in the midst of the terrible problems Beirut was experiencing.

ASU fans actually taunted him about his father’s murder (it backfired. An enraged Kerr went on an offensive tear and just destroyed the Sun Devils. We’re pretty sure he never lost to ASU again either).

At Duke several years ago, an opponent had dreadlocks. When he went to the foul line, the Crazies burst out “you shot the sheriff! You shot the sheriff!”

It was an obvious reference to probably the most famous song by Bob Marley and the Wailers, I Shot The Sheriff.

The guy started laughing so hard he couldn’t shoot: mission accomplished, and a good time was had by all.

It’s a really simple choice: be vicious and cruel or be clever and funny. That’s not to say you can’t be biting or cutting, but cruelty is never a good move.

We’re glad Toney is finding his feet again and like all basketball fans and decent people everywhere, wish him the very best.