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Edey Leads Early National Player of the Year Talk

The reigning consensus National Player of the Year has arguably been even better than he was last season

NCAA Basketball: Hall of Fame Series-Toronto-Alabama at Purdue John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Most people who want to speak ill of how good Zach Edey truly has been for the Purdue Boilermakers point to his height as being the only factor that allows him to be good. What they are missing is just how dominant a force Edey has been over the last two seasons and how much better the Boiler big man is this season. Through the first third of Purdue’s regular season, Edey is averaging 24.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 2.6 blocks. In fact, over his last three games, Edey is averaging an astonishing 31.6 points per game. Just an unbelievable start to the a season where the attention was going to be all on Zach Edey, not only during the game but nationally on a day to day basis.

In a few of the early look ahead pieces for National Player of the Year, they have squarely placed Edey at the front of the line. In On3’s most recent power rankings for NPOY, Edey was placed #1 with Marquette PG Tyler Kolek, Kansas C Hunter Dickinson, and Tennessee F Dalton Knecht following him. In that they called Edey ‘the most dominant force in college basketball’ and it is hard to argue against that. In fact, when you plug Edey’s stat line for this year into Sports Reference’s comparison tool, you get the message ‘Sorry, there are no results that match your search.’ That means, there has been no other players in that database that have done what Zach Edey is currently doing (the database goes back to the 1992-1993 season).

This becomes even more apparent when looking at the Kenpom NPOY Player of the Year Standings. In what many consider one of the most reliable and consistent systems to look at college basketball, Edey holds a .8 advantage over the rest of the field with Duke’s Kyle Filipowski coming in second and Illinois’ Terrence Shannon third. That type of disparity really puts to rest the narrative that anyone tries to build around Edey that he isn’t an utterly dominant force in college basketball. With a second consensus NPOY award, it would be an unavoidable discussion of where Edey would rank within the history of the B1G and the landscape nationally in college basketball. The only that stands in the way of Edey and being lofted up into rarified air would be a Final Four trip and maybe a national championship.

Who do you think is the challenger that can take that National Player of the Year Award away from Edey?

Kyle Filipowski - Duke

Terrence Shannon - Illinois

Hunter Dickinson - Kansas

Tyler Kolek - Marquette

Mark Sears - Alabama

Dalton Knecht - Tennessee

Tristen Newton - UCONN

Let us know in the comments!