Purdue Basketball is back on top of the AP Top 25. No long intro or waste of time needed here. After taking down #11 Gonzaga, #7 Tennessee, and #4 Marquette in the Maui Invitational Purdue moved from #2 to #1. Also, prior #1 Kansas lost to that same Marquette team. Purdue was not a unanimous choice with Arizona receiving one first place vote and UCONN receiving two.
This will now be the third season in a row that the Purdue men’s basketball team has reached the #1 ranking. They had never reached that ranking throughout the entirety of the AP Poll. Last season they spent the most weeks at #1 (tied with Houston at 7 each) but we all know what happened at the end of the season and there’s no need to re-litigate it here.
This Purdue team just feels different. They still have the most dominant player in college basketball in Zach Edey but they seem less reliant on him. Sure, the offense runs through Edey, but he isn’t the only one that Purdue can count on. We saw it in the Maui Invitational when Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer each took over long stretches of games. In addition, I’ve said it all season, the addition of Lance Jones to this team means so much. He could go down as the best transfer addition in the Matt Painter era.
Looking at the rest of the top 25, future Purdue non-conference opponent Arizona sits at #2. Marquette finds themselves at #3. Tennessee and Gonzaga clock in at 10 and 11 respectively. Another future opponent, Alabama, landed at #23. The two will face off later this year in Zach Edey’s homeland of Canada. Illinois is the only other Big Ten team ranked in the top 25 checking in at 24. Ohio State, Michigan State, and Nebraska are all receiving votes.
Purdue is next in action on Tuesday at 8:30 eastern against Texas Southern on BTN.