- Covers college basketball
- Joined ESPN.com in 2011
- Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato
Purdue center Zach Edey added another trophy to his case when he was named the winner of the Wooden Award on Tuesday.
Edey had already claimed the Associated Press, Sporting News, United States Basketball Writers Association, Naismith Trophy and National Association of Basketball Coaches national player of the year awards.
The 7-foot-4 star averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, as he led Purdue to a Big Ten championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Boilermakers, however, suffered a 63-58 loss to 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round, in what many consider to be the greatest upset in NCAA tournament history. It was just the second time in men’s NCAA tournament history that a 16-seed had defeated a top seed.
The Wooden Award had been Edey’s to lose for most of the season. After dominant efforts in wins over Marquette, Duke and Gonzaga in November, Edey separated himself from the rest of the contenders. Indiana star Trayce Jackson-Davis tried to make the race interesting with his incredible finish and a pair of wins over Edey and Purdue down the stretch. But Edey had put too much space between himself and everyone else at that point.
Edey is Purdue’s second Wooden Award winner, and its first since Glenn Robinson in the 1993-94 season. Robinson, who averaged 30.3 PPG and 10.1 RPG that season, would go on to be the No. 1 pick in the 1994 NBA draft.
Edey said recently that he’s not certain about his future at Purdue. He is projected to be a second-round pick in ESPN’s latest NBA mock draft.
In the name, image and likeness era, college has become a more enticing option, especially for big men who might not find a spot in a rotation at the next level. North Carolina star Armando Bacot recently announced that he’s set to return next season. Like Edey, he could earn significant NIL revenue if he comes back.
Edey’s presence would also make Purdue a national title contender again next season.
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