It is no secret that Purdue will go as far as today’s player can carry them.
Zach Edey - Jr.
Toronto, ON (IMG Academy)
7’4”, 290 pounds
2022-23 Projection: Potential All-American and B1G Player of the Year
Zach Edey is no longer a secret. When he came to Purdue there was a chance he would redshirt, even. Had Matt Haarms returned for his final season he probably would have, but Haarms’ transfer to BYU opened the door for him to play as a true freshman and he barged through. In game 1 against Liberty he was 9 of 10 off the bench for 19 points and he has not looked back since.
Since then he has been a steady producer even while sharing minutes with Trevion Williams at the 5. He has only averaged 17 minutes per game in his career, but he is at 11.9 points per game in those 17 minutes. He is only a little over 6 rebounds per game, but again, his limited minutes bring that total down. He has 12 double-doubles for his career, 11 of them coming last season.
Edey is one of the most physically dominant players in all of college basketball. His size and footwork on the low block make it almost physically impossible for teams to guard him straight up. In the first two tournament games against Texas and Yale last season he shot 22 combined free throws, as teams just took ot hacking the living hell out of him and daring the refs to call it. It really is the most effective defense against him. That he had only 11 points in 17 minutes against St. Peter’s (and just two free throws) in the Sweet 16 is one of the many crimes we committed that night.
With Williams gone, Edey’s minutes should soar this year. He was at 19 per game last year, and I expect him to be north of 25 per game this season. He will likely pass the 1,000 career points scored mark (he is currently at 776) and he gives Purdue distinct advantage in every game.
Much like Isaac Haas, the best defense against him is how he is officiated. If allowed to play, he is throughly dominant. If he picks up early fouls he is safely on the bench for our opponents. For the most part he has avoided foul trouble, averaging just 2.1 per game for his career. Teams will go at him, however. He is shooting over 63% from the floor in his career and was close to 65% last year. He will be a high usage player this season and averaging a 20 and 10 is not outside the realm of possibility.