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Purdue basketball’s Zach Edey leaves college in rearview as he prepares to enter NBA

CHICAGO — The curious case of Zach Edey.

As a back-to-the-basket post presence with Purdue basketball, Edey was an offensive cheat code.

Twice the consensus national player of the year, all-everything and and the leader of the team that was Purdue’s first to reach the Final Four in 44 years.

But …

“I’m the college player of the year, but I’m going to the NBA,” Edey said at the NBA Draft Combine Tuesday. “You’ve got to leave all that behind. Now I’m an NBA player. I have to re-establish myself.”

While Edey made his mark on college basketball history, there’s a general belief that his game won’t translate to the faster-paced wide-open NBA.

The knock on Edey is that he’s slow and stationary and can’t play away from the basket.

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Big men — and at officially 7-foot-3 3/4 inches barefoot with a wingspan of nearly 8 feet, no one at the draft combine is bigger than Edey — need to be able to shoot, defend the perimeter and display lateral quickness.

Fair enough, Edey said.

During Monday’s combine drills, Edey made 14 of 25 3-pointers, shot 60% off the dribble, ran three-fourths the length of the court in 3.51 seconds and had a vertical leap of 31.5 inches.

Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey (15) dunks the ball during the NCAA men’s basketball game against the Indiana Hoosiers, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.

Keep in mind he’s 300 pounds in addition to those aforementioned measurables.

“He did very well. He shot the ball at a high level, moved very well,” said UConn center Donovan Clingan, who guarded Edey in last month’s NCAA championship game. “He is a great player. He’s tall and he’s strong. He is hard to move in the post. He rebounds the ball on both ends at a high level.”

That was the recurring message Edey relayed during his media session on Tuesday.

He can…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/purdue-basketballs-zach-edey-leaves-210755881.html

Author : Journal & Courier

Publish date : 2024-05-14 21:07:55

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