Zach Edey is the most dominant player in college basketball today.

So this is a bit of a different piece than the usual articles that I write. This article is more of an appreciation post for the Purdue Boilermakers man in the middle, Zach Edey of Toronto, ON. Now for those who aren’t familiar with the NCAA Division I season, you might not know that Zach Edey is the odds on favourite (-150) to win the John R. Wooden award which is essentially the most outstanding player in college basketball. Never in the 45 years of it’s existence has a Canadian player won this prestigious honour. So I wanted to just stop and smell the roses while they’re still in bloom.

Coming off back to back wins against Ohio State and Penn State, the Head Coach of Purdue – Matt Painter, joined Jon Rothstein on his College Hoops Today podcast. They discussed the win vs. the Nittany Lions where Edey put up 30 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Zach is averaging a double double this season putting up averages of 21.9 points per game (6th in the nation) and 13.2 rebounds per game (2nd in the nation). Matt Painter had this to say about Zach’s increase in minutes this season and how it’s tied to his success.

“He’s been great, you see the minutes that he gets. […] He is no different than anybody else that is 6’4 190lbs and he is 7’4 290lbs, he can play a lot”

Matt Painter on Zach Edey’s playing time

I have been a huge fan of Zach Edey since his Northern Kings and IMG Academy days. I mean what’s not to like about a 7 footer out of Canada? When you can paint the picture of a pathway for a prospect to get to the NBA at a young age, the excitement and hype around that kid grows at a fairly rapid pace. This is what happened for me as I followed Zach’s development from a far. Last season at Purdue I was an advocate for him to be playing more minutes and had a theory that more minutes would immediately translate into more production for Edey. Ground breaking stuff, I know. But seeing it come to life this season as Zach’s main competition for minutes, Trevion Williams is now running with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G-League is really affirming.

Matt Painter continued to rave about Zach’s abilities on the College Hoops Today podcast. The amount of admiration Painter displays for the way Zach plays really goes to show just how valuable the center is to this program.

” It’s tough to take him [Zach Edey] out, to be frank with you. […] When you play really well, and you defend and you rebound and you are efficient offensively as a Coach it’s tough to take you out. ‘Put me in that position as a Coach’ and he’s been able to do that.”

Matt Painter on Zach Edey

The one quote from the 1st place Coach in the Big Ten Conference that stood out to me specifically was when he told Jon Rothstein the following blatant statement:

” I don’t like seeing him [Zach Edey] out of the game.”

Matt Painter on Zach Edey

During the final portion of the podcast Jon Rothstein fields questions from social media. One question in particular was “who would you rather have on your team this year, Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky) or Zach Edey?” Oscar won the John R. Wooden award just last season as well.

Now this would of been my answer without a doubt but that could be because I am some what of a homer when it comes to Canadian prospects, but when Jon Rothstein had the following response, I knew that this is a monumental season for not only Zach Edey but Canadian basketball as a whole.

“This year I’d rather have Zach Edey. Zach Edey is emerging […] as the ‘Yao Ming’ of College basketball. I’m not saying he’s Yao Ming but he is having a Yao Ming like impact.”

Jon Rothstein on Zach Edey

So the moral of this story is that it is not too late to jump on the Purdue Boilermakers bandwagon for the remainder of the season. Zach has come a long way from his time at IMG and as Jon Rothstein says, he’s only getting better. Come along for the ride before March Madness kicks off and really appreciate what Zach Edey is accomplishing at the Division I level.

“It’s a video game type effect for the 7 foot 5 Center who again, has gotten better & better & better”

Jon Rothstein on Zach Edey

Game Speaks

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