You don’t need to be a diehard basketball fan to know height is one of the biggest inherent advantages a player can have, and it’s safe to say Purdue center Zach Edey has taken full advantage of the 7’4″ frame he was blessed with.
It took a little while for the Canadian big man to come into his own after making his debut with the Boilermakers in 2020, but he continued to work on his game en route to becoming one of the most dominant players ((if not the most dominant player) in the country.
Edey is currently the odds-on favorite to win Naismith College Player of the Year honors following a standout junior season where he averaged 22.3 points, 12.9. rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game while helping Purdue secure a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.
As you likely know by now, March Madness didn’t exactly pan out as Edey and the rest of the team envisioned, as the Boilermakers fell victim to the most unlikely upset in college basketball history after Fairleigh Dickinson shocked the world in the first round of the tourney.
Edey managed to put up 21 points and 15 rebounds in the loss, but the shortest team in the nation still did a pretty solid job shutting down the tallest player in the country while earning the win.
There’s no telling if Edey will return for another season or take his chances in the NBA Draft, but based on the current projections, it seems like he may want to come back for his senior season.
Brian Windhorst echoed that sentiment while discussing the reason Edey has failed to drum up much hype with NBA teams on a recent podcast episode where he highlighted the center’s fatal flaw, saying:
“If you watched what happened in that Purdue game, FDU just put Zach Edey in rough pick-and-roll situations and just they took advantage of him that way—and then they just fouled the hell out of him when he got near the basket.
It’s off-putting to NBA teams—even though Zach Edey has gotten better—it’s off-putting when a big man just can’t move very well unless he’s so sensational.”
The speed of the NBA tends to be one of the biggest hurdles college players encounter when they make the leap to the pros, so it’s easy to understand why franchises may be wary of putting too much faith in Edey based on his current shortcomings.