3/12/23 Big Ten Tournament, Zach Edey wears net around neck

Junior center Zach Edey walks off the court with the net hanging from his neck as he celebrates his team's Big Ten Tournament title.

Zach Edey just finished one of the best individual seasons by any Boiler in recent history, but his intentions to declare for the NBA draft are still unclear.

The 7-foot-4 junior center averaged 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds while picking up many honors, including All-Big Ten first team, Big Ten Player of the Year, first team All-American and now a finalist for the Naismith National Player of the Year award – and the other three finalists have all announced their intention to enter the draft. Edey is faced with a big decision coming up: whether or not he’ll stay for his senior year or declare for the draft.

“I have no opinion on that right now,” Edey said after the 63-58 loss to Fairleigh Dickinson. “I’ll make my decision on that going forward.”

Later on in the locker room, Edey went more into depth on his thought process.

“I have no idea if I’m going to be back at Purdue,” he said. “I’m going to go through the process, make the decision that’s best for me. At the end of the day, you have no idea how long your career is going to be. You never know how long any of this is going to last, so I have to do what’s best for me right now.”

There is a big financial aspect that goes into a decision as big as this.

“I’ve never been in a better locker room. I’ve never been surrounded by better teammates, so that makes it super tough on me,” Edey said. “If there was no money involved, I’d stay at Purdue in a heartbeat. But there is, and I got to make the best decision for me.”

NBAdraftroom.com, The Sporting News and Tankathon.com all have Edey as a projected second round pick in the upcoming draft. A large part of this is due to his age. As a junior, Edey is on the older side of players coming out of college, and teams like to draft players on the younger side.

Head coach Matt Painter has trust in Edey to make the right decision.

“He’s a level-headed guy,” Painter said after the FDU game. “He’ll take the information in and make a decision and do what’s best for him.”

Edey still has plenty of time to make a decision since the deadline to declare to the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee is April 13.

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