UNC guard Cole Anthony declares for 2020 NBA draft

Here’s the Raleigh News and Observer reporting a story that won’t come as a surprise: North Carolina freshman guard Cole Anthony, son of former NBA player Greg Anthony, is going pro:

Anthony, 6-3, 190 pounds, led the Tar Heels last season with 18.5 points and 4 assists per game. His brief college career got off to a hot start. He scored 34 points in UNC’s season-opening win against Notre Dame. The Tar Heels started the season 6-3.

But injuries, and the team’s lack of on-court chemistry, led to the Tar Heels’ struggles.

Anthony missed 11 games in the middle of the season after having surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus. During that stretch, the Tar Heels went 4-7.

Their style of play changed dramatically after. Anthony was the primary ball handler, and without him, the Tar Heels had to spread the ball around more. When he returned Feb. 1 after missing those 11 games, UNC”s new style of play clashed with the old one. The Tar Heels lost seven consecutive ACC games and Anthony shot 38 percent from the floor.

Anthony remains a projected upper lottery pick. His final stats for his one college basketball season were 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game, shooting 38% FG and 34.8% from three-point range.

The 2020 draft is scheduled for June 25.

Hornets rookie PJ Washington injured, out with broken finger

Charlotte Hornets rookie forward PJ Washington has suffered a fractured fifth finger on his right hand. The injury occurred during the fourth quarter of last night’s 83-73 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Washington will officially miss tomorrow’s game against the Indiana Pacers, and according to a report from ESPN.com today “is expected to be sidelined through Christmas… the Hornets play five games in that stretch.”

Washington was selected 12th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. In his first season with the Hornets, the rookie forward has averaged 12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.9 blocks in 29.4 minutes per game over the course of 28 appearances (all starts). The Kentucky product ranks fifth among all rookies in points (343), seventh in three-pointers made (39), first in rebounds (147) and first in blocks (26) this season.

According to the Charlotte Observer, “after a relatively healthy first six weeks of the season, the Hornets have seen injuries pile up lately. Marvin Williams and Nic Batum, the two most experienced players on the second unit, both missed the past two games. Williams is out again Sunday with a sore right knee. Batum is listed as questionable with a sore left hand; he suffered a broken middle finger on that hand in the season opener against the Bulls.”

 

 

 

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Carl Scheer, the first Hornets president and GM, passes away

The Charlotte Hornets today released the following statement on the passing of Carl Scheer.

“The Hornets organization mourns the loss of Carl Scheer. As our first president and general manager, he built the franchise from the ground up and laid the foundation for our city’s love affair with the Hornets. Carl was a true pioneer whose innovative ideas such as the slam dunk contest changed the NBA. His contributions to professional basketball in the state of North Carolina are unmatched, having led not only the Hornets but also the ABA’s Carolina Cougars, and his knowledge and love of the game will be missed.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Marsha, son Bob, daughter Lauren, and his entire family.”

From the Charlotte Observer:

Carl Scheer, the first general manager in Charlotte Hornets history and the inventor of the slam-dunk contest, died Friday in Charlotte. He was 82.

Bob Scheer said his father passed away one day short of what would have been his 83rd birthday.

Scheer was one of the primary authors of the Hornets’ inaugural season in 1988-89, a spectacular success still remembered nostalgically among the team’s longtime fans.

During a sports-centric career that spanned 50 years, Scheer also served as director of two minor-league hockey teams in the Carolinas — the Charlotte Checkers and the Greenville (S.C.) Growl. He also worked as GM of the ABA’s Carolina Cougars and shepherded the construction of a 14,000-seat multi-purpose arena in downtown Greenville, S.C.

Some thoughts on the Charlotte Hornets

 

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The Hornets are 8-13 this season, their first in many years without Kemba Walker. They’re actually winning more games than many expected.

Here’s the Charlotte Observer with some opinions:

The word that sums up this Hornets roster is “fragile.” There is some talent, and certainly potential. But their poor defense, their unreliable rebounding and their tendency to commit turnovers (though that has improved lately), leaves them with a tiny margin for error.

I think they have slightly overachieved by winning eight of their first 21 games, and that’s been mostly about maximizing end-of-game opportunities against other bad teams. The bottom third of the NBA is weaker than usual, so there will be final-minute opportunities like the back-to-back victories over the Detroit Pistons last week.

But it’s telling that they haven’t beaten a good team except the Pacers when Indiana was missing its top two big men. The Hornets need someone to protect the paint and more physical complementary players.

A big bright spot for the Hornets has been the play of second-year guard Devonte’ Graham, drafted second round by the Hawks in 2019 and then traded to the Hornets, who is averaging 18.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 21 games played so far this season.

Hornets reveal new cool gray City Edition uniforms

 

 

 

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The Charlotte Hornets today revealed their new “City Edition” uniforms. The color is “cool gray,” which is an interesting term because lots of people still don’t know if it’s the actual proper name of a shade of gray, or merely the opinion of whoever is mentioning their view on the color. Well, it’s the former. And in my opinion, it’s a great color. The uniforms are cool.

The team says it’s the first gray uniform in franchise history. And that these City Edition uniforms will be worn for the first time on Friday, December 6 in Charlotte when facing the Brooklyn Nets.

The Hornets will wear these gray City Edition uniform for five home games and 10 road games.

Hornets forward Marvin Williams injures shoulder

 

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Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams underwent a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) exam today, and it turns out his injury is a right shoulder strain. The injury took place with 8:45 left in the second quarter of the Hornets’ loss last night to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Williams will miss Wednesday’s game at Minnesota, and will be re-evaluated next week.

This season, the 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 8.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game through 23 games (all starts). He scored his 10,000th career point earlier this season, becoming the fourth player in franchise history to total 500 career three-point field goals.

Hornets assign Devonte` Graham to G League

The Charlotte Hornets have assigned guard Devonte’ Graham to the Greensboro Swarm, the team’s NBA G League affiliate.

Graham has appeared in two games averaging 3.5 points and 1.5 assists in 9.5 minutes per game in his rookie season with the Hornets. Charlotte acquired the rights to Graham, the 34th overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, from the Atlanta Hawks in a draft night trade. Graham, a 6-2 guard from Kansas, was the 2017-18 Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus First Team All-American after averaging 17.3 points, 7.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 37.8 minutes in 39 games played as a senior.

This marks the Hornets first player assignment to the Swarm this season. The Swarm open their regular-season schedule this weekend with contests at Wisconsin on Nov. 2 and at Capitol City on Nov. 3. The Swarm will return for their Home Opener at the Fieldhouse at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex against the Grand Rapids Drive on Friday, Nov. 10.

Hornets exercise contract option on Malik Monk

The Charlotte Hornets today exercised their third-year option on guard Malik Monk.

The 6-3 Kentucky product is in his second NBA season after appearing in 63 games during his 2017-18 rookie campaign in Charlotte. Through seven games this season, Monk is averaging 11.0 points per game on 35.1% shooting. He holds career averages of 7.1 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 14.6 minutes per game in 70 contests. Monk was selected by the Hornets 11th overall in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Hornets host the Miami Heat tonight at 7 p.m. at Spectrum Center in the first game of a four-game homestand. Charlotte hosts Oklahoma City on Thursday, Nov. 1, Cleveland on Saturday, Nov. 3 and Atlanta on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

On the Hornets and their playoff hopes

Here’s the Charlotte Observer with a look at the Hornets schedule for the rest of 2018, and what it could mean in regard to their playoff hopes:

For the Charlotte Hornets to break a two-season streak of missing the playoffs, the push can’t wait until March and April.

That’s the reality of a schedule front-loaded with home games.

Starting Tuesday night against the Miami Heat, the Hornets play 17 of their next 24 games at Spectrum Center. By the end of December, the Hornets will have already played 21 of their 41 home dates, including all four against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks, teams they should dominate if they expect to reach the post-season.

Last season, the Hornets were 21-20 at home, but 15-26 on the road, which sunk their playoff chances.

It’s common for the Hornets to play a disproportionate number of home games before New Year’s Day because typically Spectrum Center hosts a number of non-Hornets events in February and March. This season, the Spectrum Center hosts the NBA All-Star Weekend (Hornets will be out of town the week before to make way for arena preparations) and the CIAA and ACC tournaments.

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Hornets give Joe Chealey a two-way contract, waive Zach Smith

The Charlotte Hornets have exercised the two-way player conversion option on guard Joe Chealey.

Also, the team announced they have waived forward Zach Smith.

Chealey, a College of Charleston product, was originally signed by the Hornets on July 27 as an undrafted free agent. He has appeared in three preseason contests with Charlotte and has averaged 4.3 points and 1.0 assists per game. The 6-3 guard participated in the 2018 MGM Resorts NBA Summer League with the Hornets. In four games, he averaged 6.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 17.4 minutes per game.

The Orlando, Fla. native played in 129 collegiate games over four years (2014-18) for the Cougars, finishing his career with averages of 14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 31.1 minutes per game. Chealey left Charleston as the school’s all-time leader in free throws (582), ranked fourth in scoring (1,825) and eighth in assists (395). As a senior in 2017-18, he averaged 18.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 34 games played, earning both All-CAA First Team and All-Tournament Team honors for a second consecutive season.

Chealey joins JP Macura as the two-way players under contract with the Charlotte Hornets for the 2018-19 season. The 2018-19 season is the second year NBA teams can utilize two-way contracts, in which teams will be permitted to carry two such players on their roster in addition to their 15-man regular season roster. Charlotte’s two-way players will spend time with the team’s NBA G League squad, the Greensboro Swarm, as well as the main club, but are allowed no more than 45 days in the NBA, not including any time prior to the start of the Swarm’s training camp and at the end of the Swarm season.

Smith, originally signed by the Hornets on July 26 as an undrafted free agent, appeared in one preseason game for Charlotte. The 6-8 forward spent four seasons at Texas Tech University where he helped the Red Raiders to two NCAA Tournament appearances. Smith played in 117 career games for the Red Raiders and was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2016 and 2017.