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Let’s Talk About Purdue
They’ve done it again. I’m not sure what they feed their players in Purdue, but the big man factory is alive and well. This year, it’s Zach Edey. He joins a long, rich history of Purdue’s big men, from Trevion Williams to Matt Haarms (boy did I hate him) to Isaac Haas to Caleb Swanigan to JaJuan Johnson all the way back to Glenn Robinson. That’s simply an insane run of dominant college bigs. As an Ohio State fan, it was incredibly frustrating watching undersized guys like Jared Sullinger and E.J. Liddell try to guard these monsters, and I can’t imagine how difficult it is for a real big guy to guard someone like Edey.
Edey is comfortably averaging a double-double this season, with 23.3 PPG on 60.9% shooting and 12.8 RPG to go along with 2 blocks per game, and he’s dominated some great teams along the way. He’s been the team’s leading scorer in 7 of their 8 games, including 23 points against an elite Gonzaga team and 21 points against Duke. Something about this Purdue squad feels different. They’ve always run through the big, but this time it feels like they’re going to dominate through the big. Edey is a force, and nobody in the country has shown that they can slow him down. If Gonzaga’s defense can’t contain him, then who can?
U C O N N UCONN UCONN UCONN!
First things first shoutout Big Red. Second of all, is this the most under-the-radar UConn team in recent memory? They may not have a Kemba, Ray Allen, or a Rip Hamilton on the roster, but they’re making waves. They may not have the strength of schedule as a team like Gonzaga, but they’ve beaten some damn good teams. They beat up on a very good Alabama team, and they’ve taken care of Oregon, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State with ease. I know it’s sacrilege for the casual college basketball fan to mention KenPom before the month of March, but he currently has them as his fourth (!) ranked team in the country. Fourth!
They entered the season unranked, and now sit at 5th in the nation thanks to their 9-0 record. Adam Sanogo may have the best stats on paper, but Danny Hurley gets the most out of every single player on this roster. He’s had six players who have scored more than 8 points per game, and nine players who have played more than 15 minutes in a game. It’s an incredibly well-rounded squad, and has the feel of someone who could make a ton of noise in March. Cardiac Adama has a good ring to it, too.