In the months leading up to the 2021-’22 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a 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's edition will take a brief look at Zach Edey of the Purdue Boilermakers, who came in at No. 19 in the rankings. The Boilermakers are one of the Big Ten title favorites entering this season and Edey will be a big part of the team’s pursuit of that goal.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - No. 19 Zach Edey:
- Eligibility: Redshirt Freshman
- Career Totals: 28 games, 411 minutes, 243 points, 124 rebounds, 10 assists
- 2020-’21 Averages: 14.7 MPG, 8.7 PPG, 0.4 APG, 4.4 RPG, 0.1 SPG
- Positional Role: Center
One of the biggest surprises of last season was the quick emergency of Edey. Despite middling recruiting rankings, he arrived at Purdue and immediately became a contributor for a pretty solid Boilermaker squad. And with plenty of pieces returning, Purdue is now hoping to take the next step this season.
There’s little arguing this. Edey’s biggest strength arise from his impressive size and physicality in the paint. He is listed at 7-foot-4 and 285 pounds and plays up to that size. He was one of the best rebounders in the league and shot 56.7 percent from two-point range.
Edey also took a bigger share of the offense than some might assume last season. He shot 25.7 percent of shots while on the floor. However, he did it efficiently, finishing with a 111.9 offensive rating and a 63.2 percent true shooting percentage. All of those numbers should hold up well this season.
-Areas for Improvement
While Edey has some remarkable skills, there are also clearly some gaps in his game. To start, he’s only played limited minutes so far in his career. Some of this is because Trevion Williams is on the roster, but he’s also struggled to stay out of foul trouble as well. The first step in being a great player is being out there and Edey needs to improve there.
He also has plenty of room to grow as an outside shooter and a passer. He had the worst assist rate on Purdue’s roster last season and didn’t attempt anything from outside the arc. Edey is never going to be Steph Curry, but even modest steps in those areas would pay dividends at the college level.
With Trevion Williams returning alongside Edey in Purdue’s frontcourt, the two are going to be battling for minutes all season. However, if Edey refines his game, he should have a chance to push Williams for playing time and be one of the best bigs in the league.