POY Edey withdraws from draft, returns to Purdue

Purdue star center Zach Edey, the consensus National Player of the Year, announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing his name from the NBA draft and returning to the Boilermakers for another season.

Edey initially entered his name into the draft in mid-April and had until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to make a final decision. This marks the second season in a row that the men’s college basketball player of the year has opted to return to college instead of turn pro, after Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe did so last year.

A 7-foot-4 center from Canada, Edey was the most dominant player in the sport last season. He averaged 22.9 points and 12.9 rebounds and shot 60.7% from the field — ranking sixth in scoring, second in rebounds and 21st in field goal percentage. Edey also averaged more than two blocked shots per game. He scored at least 30 points on eight occasions, including 38 points and 13 rebounds in a late-January win over Michigan State. Edey scored in double figures in every game last season and had 28 double-doubles.

Edey, who will be a senior this fall, made tremendous strides in his three years in West Lafayette under Matt Painter, entering college as an unranked recruit coming out of high school. Despite his college production and accolades, Edey wasn’t projected to be selected in the first round of next month’s NBA draft. He’s ranked No. 47 in ESPN’s 2023 NBA draft rankings, slotting in as the No. 4 center.

With Edey leading the way, Purdue was ranked No. 1 in the polls for parts of last season, while winning both the Big Ten regular-season and conference tournament championships. The Boilermakers earned a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament before being shocked by 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round.

Painter’s team should be back in the mix for a top-five preseason ranking, with all five starters coming back to West Lafayette.

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