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Q&A with Cole Anthony’s AAU coach

PHOTO: USA Today

PHOTO: USA Today

Consensus top three player in the class of 2019, Cole Anthony, recently made his first list of 12 schools and the Cats are still being considered. That’s the good news. The bad news is 6-foot-2, 180-pound point guard’s (who will play his senior year at prestigious Oak Hill Academy) recruitment has been mostly a mystery. I don’t crack the code on Anthony’s recruitment, but I did talk with PSA Cardinals’ director Terrance “Munch” Williams about Anthony’s game and development as a player.

Here’s what he had to say about the UK target:

KSR: I know Cole doesn’t talk recruiting but he has cut his list to 12. What did those schools do to be able to make the cut?

Williams: Honestly, I don’t talk with him about his recruitment that much. I let him go through his process and the conversation is more about his actual game on the court. I’m at liberty to talk about that but I try not to get involved with his recruitment. It’s a long journey and I haven’t talked about it much.

KSR: He is one of the smartest point guards I’ve seen at the high school level, what makes him so elite assessing defenses and his opponents?

Williams:  That’s a big time comment coming from you and the guys you’ve seen over the years. He’s a worker. People know that but I think he studies the games a lot and watches a ton of film. The amount of basketball he’s played, along with the competition in all areas, I think for him it’s been a situation where things slow down. He’s pretty much seen and been through everything. Nothing surprises him. He prepares for those moments and that’s added on to his level of IQ. When he makes mistakes he will go back, evaluate them and figures out how to not to make the same mistake most of the time.

KSR: What areas of his game did you all try to improve this summer?

Williams: A big thing for us has been leadership and understanding how you talk to one person compared to how you motivate another. We’re trying to consistently get him to be an extension of the coach. We’re preparing him for college because the expectation will be the minute he walks on campus for him to have the ball in his hands and he will need to lead a ton of older guys. That’s been one of the things we’ve hopped on him about during the course of the year. Being the loudest guy in the gym in practices and the most vocalized guy in the game. He’s consistently communicating and making sure his presence is felt both with the ball and without the ball, even when it’s a deadball.

KSR: Do you envision a transition period when he jumps to the college game and has to lead juniors and seniors?

Williams: No. I think it’s all going to be mental as far as how he approaches those guys and gets them to buy into what the coach needs them to do as a unit. Off the court he does a tremendous job spending time with teammates. Those are things people don’t see. They don’t see the kids going to dinner, going to the mall or their interactions on a group chat. He’s learned the importance of those little things as leaders get people on his side and do a good enough job for people to follow. He tries to be one with his teammates.

KSR: Are there any good comparisons for Cole Anthony?

Williams: Well, for us (PSA Cardinals) he reminds me mentally of Ty Jerome and Bryce Aiken. Ty is at Virginia and Bryce is at Harvard. Both are leading their respective universities. On the court as far as physical, I think that desire to take over and lead at any given moment- Quade Green at Kentucky. Cole has learned stuff from all those guys and has a little bit of what they have.

KSR: It seems like a lot of PSA guys have quiet recruitments with the exception of Quade Green. Mohamed Bamba and Cheick Diallo’s recruitments were quiet.

Williams: (Laughs) I think the schools do a good job talking to them and they do a good job talking to the schools. They’re not kids searching for the limelight as far as the social media aspect or the extra tweets. They’re not gonna cut the list five or six times. That’s not driven around our program. Everything with us is finding the right fit, dissect the schools and build relationships with those that are important. I think a lot of times our guys come into the season already thinking where they want to go in their life. If you look at a kid like Maxwell Lorca- if some school starts recruiting him that doesn’t value academics he would tell them no because he’s looking for academics. Our guys do a good job having conversations with their respective supporting cast, us or their parents, whoever. They’ll talk about what schools they want to look at versus what schools should be looking at them.

They may not talk to media but they talk to (their families and coaches recruiting them). We try to make sure the kids get what they deserve. It’s all love. These guys can only go to one place so it doesn’t make sense to dissect 10 schools when you can only go to one. Cole is heading down the same road as (Bamba) regarding how long the recruitment is going to go. But, I don’t know. They control their recruitment instead of the recruitment controlling them. They know they’re in control and they can pick the spot they want to pick and nothing can distract them.

 

Article written by TJ Walker