By SAM LANCE & ADAM ZAGORIA For the second year in a row, the reigning Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year will return to school. This time, it will be Zach Edey making his return to the Purdue Boilermakers. Edey announced his return to school via social media.
Edey, the 7-foot-4, 300-pound center from Toronto, was a dominant force in the paint last season. He averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists per game while also shooting 60.7% from the field en route to his Player of the Year awards. Now he, like Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe last year, will return to college one year removed from being named the best player in the land. Tshiebwe announced Wednesday he will remain in the Draft this year. With Edey back in the fold, expect Purdue, which became just the second No. 1 seed ever to lose to a 16 when they were stunned by FDU, to be among the nation’s best again. “It’s the same team we had last year, where our freshmen guards get to be sophomores,” Edey said at the NBA Combine. “They’ll be a little stronger, a little faster, a little more confident. “We’re a team that was No. 1 most of the season, we were a No. 1 seed, we had a really good regular season. And we won our Big Ten Conference, won our Big Ten Conference Tournament. It’s the same team that’s coming back, nothing’s changed, it’s just guys are getting a little older.” He added he’s not concerned about winning another set of Player of the Year awards. “I wouldn’t be worried about doing that again,” he said. “The only thing I’d be worried about if I came back is winning basketball games. “We’ve had a lot of success in the regular season, I would make sure I’m focused on winning on the biggest stage, too, winning in that [NCAA] Tournament. “Obviously, it’s tough, it’s one elimination game. It’s not like a series, it’s just one game. But I wouldn’t be focused on adding to my personal hardware collection, the only thing I’d be focused on is hanging banners and adding to our team’s hardware collection.” One highlight of his season will be when Purdue faces Alabama in Toronto on Dec. 9. “It would be cool if I came back to play in Toronto, but that’s not going to be a main factor in my decision at all,” he said in Chicago. Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter Follow ZAGSBLOGHoops on Instagram And Like ZAGS on Facebook
RUN IT BACK🔄 pic.twitter.com/oJfQTbX6SP— zach (@zach_edey) June 1, 2023