UNC's Roy Williams Shoots Down Idea of 'Load Management Crap' with Cole Anthony

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2019

North Carolina's head coach Roy Williams speaks with Cole Anthony (2) during the second half of an NCAA exhibition college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

After North Carolina freshman Cole Anthony played in 37 of a possible 40 minutes in a 76-65 victory over Notre Dame on Wednesday night, Tar Heels coach Roy Williams made it clear that he doesn't buy into the concept of load management.

"I don't believe in this load management crap in the NBA," Williams said, per The Athletic's Jared Weiss. "You pay me $25 million a year and my load is going to be pretty light."

The phrase "load management" has become more prevalent in the NBA in recent seasons, as star players have taken games off more frequently in an attempt to make sure their bodies can make it through an 82-game season, as well as potential playoff games. Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is the most noteworthy example.

College basketball is different from the NBA in that it's a shorter season and also does not typically feature games on back-to-back days, other than for tournaments.

And while Willams does not believe in load management, he does not plan on overworking Anthony or any of his players:

Junior forward Garrison Brooks logged 39 minutes against Notre Dame.

Williams has historically been able to rely on a rotation thanks to a deep bench. However, this UNC squad may not have as much depth as Williams' previous teams, as it lost Coby White, Cameron Johnson, Nassir Little and Luke Maye after last season.

North Carolina is also missing junior forward Sterling Manley, who is dealing with an injury.

On Wednesday night, North Carolina used nine players, with seven receiving significant minutes. Neither Walker Miller nor Brandon Huffman registered more than one minute of action during their time on the court.

Anthony and Brooks each proved in Game 1 that they could sustain a high level of play while receiving very little rest. Anthony, rated by 247Sports as a 5-star prospect and the No. 4 overall recruit in the class of 2019, set a program record with 34 points in his Tar Heels debut, adding 11 rebounds, five assists and one steal. Brooks added 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

Of course, it's unlikely Anthony and Brooks will continue to see 37-plus minutes early on this season, as the Tar Heels will be heavily favored in many of their nonconference games.

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