Since James Naismith put up peach baskets at a YMCA, it’s been a huge advantage to be tall in basketball. Players at or near 7-feet-tall are wildly overrepresented in the NBA and among the all-time great players the sport has ever seen. And, no one in college basketball showed the advantage that wildly tall people have than Purdue’s Zach Edey.
The 7-foot-4 Edey was the nation’s most dominant player this year. He averaged 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game for the Boilermakers over 32 minutes a game. He led the Boilermakers to Big Ten regular season and conference tournament titles, but the team lost embarrassingly in the round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament to sixteen-seed Farleigh Dickinson, one of the shortest teams in the country.
How tall is he? He didn’t even need a ladder to help cut down the net when Purdue won the Big Ten regular season title.
A ladder to cut down the net? Zach Edey says no thank you.
— Jake Marsh (@PMTsportsbiz) March 5, 2023
He’s not just tall, either. Zach Edey shows great touch around the basket, can finish with both hands, and knows how to seal to create good position. And, he is a good enough foul shooter, too, shooting 73.4% this year. But, the junior lacks the elite athleticism normally seen at the NBA level. That’s why a guy who may have been a top 5 pick even 25 years ago, could go undrafted.
But, that’s not stopping Zach Edey, as he is declaring for the NBA Draft while still retaining his college eligibility.
— zach (@zach_edey) April 18, 2023
The National Player of the Year is widely thought to be a second-round pick, and could decide to come back to school. In fact, he may make more money playing college hoops next year than as an NBA second-round pick likely relegated to the G-League. It never hurts to get some feedback from NBA scouts, and that’s what I think Edey is doing.