For any other player of the late 1990's, a 950 point career in three seasons would be a mark of accomplishment. For Anthony Perry, it reflected a promising but inconsistent college career.
A consensus McDonald's All America, Perry ended his playing career at St. Anthony HS ranked among the top four recruits in the nation. The only names ahead of Perry in the class of 1997 rankings were Lamar Odom, Tracy McGrady, and Baron Davis, all of whom went on to the NBA. Widely expected to sign in-state, Perry committed to Georgetown, marking Georgetown's first (and only) New Jersey recruit signed in the John Thompson era.
Perry's arrival on the college scene would be delayed by the NCAA, who ruled that a computer science course taught at St. Anthony's was insufficient as a core requirement, rendering Perry ineligible for the 1997-98 season. In 1998-99, Perry quickly assumed the scoring mantle, scoring in double figures in 22 of his first 24 games, including 26 versus Syracuse and 24 versus Connecticut. By season's end, struggling through an ankle injury, Perry lost his touch, missing on 63 of 83 shots down the stretch as the Hoyas suffered its first losing season since 1974. Perry was nonetheless named to the Big East all-rookie team following the season.
Perry opened his junior season with renewed promise, including 18 versus North Carolina and 19 versus Florida in the Maui Invitational. But following a 1 for 10 effort early in January versus Seton Hall, he saw his scoring average drop to 8.7 points per game by season's end. Still, he came through in some big games, including the winning basket in an upset at Louisville and the tying basket that forced overtime with Virginia game in the 2000 NIT.
For the following season, the coaching staff moved Demetrius Hunter into the starting lineup, assigning Perry to a sixth man role. He scored 16 each in road wins at Houston and West Virginia, scored 15 and stole the ball at game's end to preserve a win at Rutgers, and hit two big threes to help the Hoyas stay close with Arkansas in the 2001 NCAA's. For the season, Perry averaged only six field goal attempts and 17 minutes per game, but finished with 13 games scoring in double figures.
Anthony Perry's record remains a decidedly mixed one, and his up and down games were a source of much fan frustration. Nonetheless, some recognition is deserved--he ranks in the top 20 in three major statistical categories, and he is one of only four players recruited in the Thompson era to have led the team in scoring in his rookie season.
Too often, fans saw Anthony Perry's potential more than they saw his accomplishments, many of which helped return Georgetown to the NCAA's for his senior season.