In the days after Purdue’s history Games Tournaments Zach Edey reserved the loss. He turns off the phone, along with the rest of the world.
He was the offensive end to an award-winning big man season with the Boilermakers
Dominating in both areas, Edey was the runner-up winner for the Associated Press men’s college basketball player of the year. Edey received all but one vote by a 58-person media panelwith Indiana Trayce Jackson-Davis the other.
“The season ended in disappointment, which really sucks, but it’s always nice to win individual accolades,” said Edey. “It’s kind of validating your work a little bit. The last three years I’ve played here, I’ve seen my game grow every year. AP player of the year is a great feeling, it’s just a race that ends at the end of the season.
Edey has not yet decided if he will return to Purdue or enter the NBA draft.
“I have nothing,” said Saturni.
Edey had 20 points, 15 rebounds and three shots against Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but Purdue joined Virginia in 2018 as the only No. 1 seed to lose to No. 16.
An abrupt end to an incredible season for the Canadian 7-footer.
Edey also shot 62% from the floor and averaged 2.1 blocks per game while leading Purdue to its first Big Ten regular season title since 2017. He is the first player since Navy’s David Robinson in 1985-86 to have at least 750 points, 450 rebounds , and stopped 50 shots on the season.
“Some kind of guy,” Purdue guard David Jenkins Jr. he said. “I’ve never played with someone like him, probably never again.”
And to think that Edey didn’t want to play basketball when he was younger.
A hockey and baseball player growing up in Toronto, Edey first stopped playing basketball. In the sixth grade and the adult’s natural inclination was toward basketball, where his size would be of great advantage.
Edey said. “I didn’t like people telling me what to do with my life and I felt like that’s what people do with basketball. When I started playing competitively, that’s when I really fell in love with laughter.”
Edey developed the game quickly. He played at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and proved himself against some of the nation’s best players, targeted by college coaches. He ended up at Purdue, where coach Matt Painter had a proven track record of developing big men.
Edey had a limited role as a freshman, then averaged 14.4 points and 7.7 rebounds last season on a team that featured talented big man Trevion Williams and future NBA lottery pick Jaden Ivey.
Already a tireless worker, Edey has put in more time in the offseason, spending extra time after practice and taking better care of his body. Now that his solid footwork has recovered, he’s added speed and added more endurance to the teams that were under pressure, not to mention beating the physical teams he tried to use against him.
“It’s not really any kind of cool, little shameless answer,” says Edey. “I came every day, I worked, I practiced, I stayed long after the routine. I took care of my body and was able to constantly improve. I did nothing rebellious. I just worked.”
This certainly paid off, if the season ended with a huge disappointment.
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