Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Purdue star Zach Edey selected ninth overall in NBA Draft to Grizzlies

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The back-to-back reigning college basketball player of the year has a home in the NBA.

Zach Edey was selected with the ninth overall pick in the NBA Draft on Wednesday night by the Memphis Grizzlies.

In those two seasons with the Boilermakers (73 games), Edey averaged 23.8 points and 12.5 rebounds.

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Purdue center Zach Edey practices ahead of a Final Four college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, April 5, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. North Carolina State plays Purdue. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

His Boilermakers were upset by No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson in last year’s March Madness, but this year, they made it all the way to the final before losing to now back-to-back champion UConn.

Everyone knew Edey was a standout, but it was this past tournament where he cemented his legacy in the college rankings.

In his six games in March Madness, he averaged 29.5 points and 14.5 rebounds, including a 40-16 line in the Elite 8, and a 37-point effort in the championship. Edey wound up scoring almost two-thirds of the Boilermakers’ points against UConn.

Zach Edey looks down on court

Zach Edey #15 of the Purdue Boilermakers walks across the court in the second half against the Connecticut Huskies during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament National Championship game at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Many thought Edey would fall out of the lottery, but they could use a big man down low to pair with Jared Jackson Jr., who averaged 22.5 points per game.

It was a tough season for Memphis. Ja Morant served a 25-game suspension due to off-the-court issues, and when he returned, he dominated and had a buzzer-beater in his first game back.

However, after just a handful of games, he suffered a season-ending injury, thus all but ending the Grizzlies season in the process. Memphies went 27-55 just a year after making the playoffs as a No. 2 seed.

Zach Edey holds the trophy

Purdue center Zach Edey holds an NCAA Regional Championship trophy after an Elite Eight college basketball game against Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament, Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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But, with a healthy Morant, an improved Desmond Bane, another season from Jackson, and now Edey in the flesh, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if this team makes another playoff run.

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