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Purdue star Zach Edey announces plans to enter NBA Draft after national title game run

Purdue star Zach Edey announces plans to enter NBA Draft after national title game run

Zach Edey’s college career looks to be officially over.

Per ESPN, the Purdue star and two-time Naismith Player of the Year has filed paperwork to enter the 2024 NBA Draft. Purdue's season ended earlier this month when the Boilermakers lost to UConn in the national championship game.

"I felt like it was time," Edey told ESPN. "I showed that I'm a physical presence on offense this season," Edey said. "I also showed I can play defense. I can guard in space, even defend guards."

The news isn't much of a surprise. Purdue coach Matt Painter had said in February that Edey wasn’t going to use his final season of eligibility and return to the Boilermakers next fall. Edey had that final season of eligibility, thanks to an NCAA waiver that gave all athletes in college during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic an extra season of eligibility.

The 7-foot-4 center has been a huge part of the Boilermakers’ success in recent years. They earned back-to-back Big Ten regular season titles and No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament, though they were knocked out in the first round of the tournament last season in historic fashion.

Zach Edey’s time at Purdue appears to be officially over. (Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Edey averaged 22.3 points and a career-high 12.9 rebounds per game last season with the Boilermakers. He finished this season averaging 25.2 points, which was the best output in the country, and 12.2 rebounds, third-best in the nation. He picked up his second straight national player of the year title this month, too, which made him the first person to win that award consecutively since Ralph Sampson in 1982-83.

Edey dropped 37 points and had 10 rebounds in Purdue's 75-60 loss to UConn in the national championship game on April 8. He shot 15-of-25 from the field and largely dominated UConn big Donovan Clingan in the first 20 minutes, but the Huskies powered ahead in the second half to claim back-to-back national titles.

While Edey has been a dominant force at the college level, it’s unclear where he’ll be selected in the NBA Draft in June. Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek has Edey going No. 31 overall to kick off the second round in her latest mock draft. Other mocks have Edey going as early as No. 15 overall.

Regardless of where he ends up going, there's no doubt that Edey improved his draft stock throughout the NCAA tournament. Edey will find a place in the league shortly, and should be a very valuable asset for whomever opts to pick him up.

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