In the months leading up to the 2016-’17 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today we’ll take a look at Purdue’s Vince Edwards. Edwards has been a significant contributor at Purdue from the moment he arrived on campus. He showed improvement from freshman to sophomore years (particularly his shooting). Edwards now will elevate to a leadership role with the departures of Rapheal Davis, A.J. Hammons and Johnny Hill.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - #10 Vince Edwards:
- Eligibility: Junior
- Career Totals: 68 games, 1850 minutes, 687 points, 347 rebounds, 190 assists
- 2015-’16 Averages: 27.5 MPG, 11.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.9 APG
- Positional Role: Forward
According to his Purdue bio, Edwards is the only Boilermaker to have amassed 675 points, 325 rebounds and 175 assists by the end of his sophomore season. He’s been highly productive through two seasons, and Purdue will need him to continue to grow offensively and take on a larger leadership role.
Edwards is really versatile, especially for his size (at 6’8” and 225 lbs.). His stats reflect that versatility too. He’s also smart and incredibly fundamentally sound (in the perfect mold of a Purdue-type basketball player).
Offensively, he’s incredibly well-rounded. Edwards can drive the ball, and from his freshman to sophomore season, he really improved his shooting, particularly from three (32 percent as a freshman to 40 percent as a sophomore). His freethrow shooting also jumped to 82 percent last year.
He’s also an exceptional rebounder and snagged a bunch on a team that had plenty of rebounders. In fact, Edwards had 24 points and 13 rebounds against Arkansas-Little Rock in last year’s NCAA Tournament loss.
Already the team’s second leading scorer last season, Edwards is talented enough to take on a bigger offensive load. Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas will likely also take more shots, but Edwards’ ceiling is higher offensively.
Areas for Improvement
Edwards is a good athlete, but not a great one. His athleticism is good enough for him to be very productive in the Big Ten (obviously), but he’ll need to improve his quickness, especially if he wants to move to the next level.
Defenses will continue to give him more and more attention, as he becomes the team’s leading scorer. He won’t be able to fall back on elite athleticism to beat defenses, which is fine; he’ll just need to find other ways to score. He’s smart, and is physically big. His size and versatility allow him to score from multiple areas on the court, which’ll allow him to overcome any athleticism shortcomings.
He’ll also need to continue to improve on the perimeter. His future success in college (and perhaps the NBA) will be dependent on his outside jumper. He shot 40 percent from three on a little over three attempts per game.
Edwards should have a good year for Purdue. It’s likely he’ll get more offensive plays called for him this season, and he’s versatile and smart with the ball. If he’s doubled or doesn’t have a good scoring opportunity, he’ll find an open teammate, or reset the offense; Edwards won’t force action.
At the high end, Purdue lost about 36 percent of their scoring from last year’s team, but among Edwards, Haas, Swanigan and the young talent on the roster, Painter will have options to replace that scoring. But, ultimately, it starts with Edwards, and I’d bet he’s up for the challenge.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #26-31 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #24 - Josh Langford (Michigan State)
- #24 - Kam Williams (Ohio State)
- #23 - Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (Michigan)
- #22 - Jalen Coleman-Lands (Illinois)
- #21 - Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State)
- #20 - Jae’Sean Tate (Ohio State)
- #19 - James Blackmon (Indiana)
- #18 - Eron Harris (Michigan State)
- #17 - Corey Sanders (Rutgers)
- #16 - Derrick Walton, Jr. (Michigan)
- #15 - Isaac Haas (Purdue)
- #14 - JaQuan Lyle (Ohio State)
- #13 - Bryant McIntosh (Northwestern)
- #12 - Miles Bridges (Michigan State)
- #11 - Zak Irvin (Michigan)
- #10 - Vince Edwards (Purdue)
- #9 - to be continued ...