clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Vincent Edwards Leading Purdue Boilermakers in Conference Play

The senior forward continues to prove himself as one of the top players in the conference

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever a team is holding onto the #3 ranking in the country and riding a long winning streak like these Purdue Boilermakers are, things are obviously falling into place.

For the Purdue Boilermakers, a lot of that is the result of the wonderful all-around play of senior forward Vincent Edwards. The Swiss army knife type player has been having a fantastic season while not getting the attention he deserves nationally for being the best player on a top ranked team in the country.

The biggest question that Purdue had to answer this season revolved around rebounding the basketball. Caleb Swanigan dominated the glass so much last season for the Boilermakers that quite frankly, other guys didn’t seem to have to worry about cleaning up the glass. This year, with Swanigan gone, who could grab the rebounds to ignite the break and keep possessions alive?

To answer that question, Edwards has elevated his rebounding total to 8.1 rebounds per game, up from 4.9 a year ago. To go along with his spike in rebounding, he has also increased his points per game from 12.6 to 14.7. His field goal percentage is down from 48.6% to 47.4%, but his three point percentage has improved from 42.3% to 45.2%.

On a team that doesn’t ooze NBA talent like some of the other top teams in the country, Vincent Edwards is likely the best chance that this Boilermakers team has of producing an NBA player, and he’s played like it so far in conference play.

So far in Big Ten play this season, Edwards averages 15.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game on 48.8% shooting.

His size and athletic ability also lead to him being a versatile, valuable defender. His ability to switch out onto guards or guard in the post allows a lot of flexibility and gives Matt Painter the option to give teams different looks defensively whenever he chooses.

Perhaps the most important thing that Edwards has provided Purdue this season is consistency. He has finished in double digits scoring in every game so far this season except one. Against Tennessee State on December 21st, Edwards finished with eight points in 23 minutes as the Boilermakers rolled to a 97-48 win.

While Vincent Edwards isn’t currently at the top of the Big Ten Player of the Year race, he certainly is in the conversation and if Purdue continues the roll that they’ve been on with him playing as well as he has, he could find himself on top of that group of players.

Vincent Edwards arrived in West Lafayette four years ago as a part of a recruiting class that, as many had hoped they would, has transformed the landscape of Purdue basketball. While Edwards may not have that elite, next level skill in a single part of his game, his versatility and efficiency has turned him into perhaps the most complete player in the conference.

On his current pace, Edwards will become the 22nd member of the 1500 point club in Purdue history at a home game against Ohio State on February 7th. He’s certainly proven to be one of the best players in the recent history of the program, and he could build on his own legacy by continuing to lead this team to wins and finish it with some postseason success.