Purdue star Zach Edey is withdrawing from the NBA Draft and returning for a fourth season of college basketball, he announced Wednesday evening just hours before the declaration deadline. The 7-foot-4 reigning consensus National Player of the Year ranked No. 72 in the most recent CBS Sports NBA Draft Prospect Rankings and faced an uncertain professional future as a traditional center in a modern professional game that values perimeter prowess in its big men.
With Edey, who was born in Toronto, working on getting a new student visa that will allow him to profit off his name, image and likeness more easily at the college level, returning to Purdue could be a solid financial decision. He is one of the most recognizable figures in the sport after averaging 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game for the Boilermakers last season and will be in the national spotlight once again.
Purdue will be seeking to atone for a stunning loss in March to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In addition to Edey, several other key contributors are returning from the 2022-23 squad, which won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles.
Edey took on a starring role for the Boilermakers in the 2022-23 season after splitting time at center with Trevion Williams as a sophomore in the 2021-22 season. Until the NCAA Tournament, the results of the Edey-centered lineup were magnificent. The Canadian-born center has steadily improved his game each year after embracing basketball late in his childhood, and his return should only solidify Purdue’s standing as a popular preseason pick to repeat atop the Big Ten.