Purdue’s Zach Edey earned third-team preseason All-American. The 7-foot-4 center will play a vital role for Purdue in the upcoming season after the departure of Trevion Williams. Thus, Edey became one of the top contenders for College Basketball National Player of the Year.
However, predicting how much Edey would rise to power was challenging. He averaged 27 double-doubles, which was the most of anybody in the country. He also averaged 6.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 21.1 percent shooting from the field. According to Purdue, he became the first player in Division I history to place in the top 25 in points, rebounds, blocks, and field goal percentage.
According to bookie PPH sources, Edey guided his team to a perfect regular season, a Big Ten Tournament championship, and a No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Championship. Despite the shocking first-round loss to No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson, Edey’s outstanding performance ensured that basketball fans remembered Purdue’s season. His decision to play collegiate basketball for a fourth year made him the odds-on favorite to win the award again. However, many more players in college basketball are more than capable of unseating Edey.
Other National Player of the Year Contenders
Kyle Filipowski, a 7-foot forward for Duke, is a top NBA prospect. Filipowski was reliably excellent during the Blue Devils’ inconsistent season. According to bookie pay per head reviews and news sites, he earned the ACC’s Rookie of the Year after averaging 15.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 29.2 minutes per game. After that, the New Yorker would join the 2023 NBA Draft, when he would likely be selected in the first round. Instead, he confirmed his return to Duke, further establishing the Blue Devils as one of the tournament’s preseason favorites for 2024. True NBA talents who return for their second year are often surprised by exploding statistically.
According to Discount Pay Per Head sources, Kentucky native Justin Edwards is a first-year student. He has the potential to be a breakout player for this Kentucky squad. The former five-star recruit is currently listed as the No. 2 recruit in college football behind only USC’s Isaiah Collier from the 2023 class. This summer, at 6-foot-7, he has portrayed himself as a mature scorer and facilitator for the UK. There have been rumblings behind the scenes that he plans to pursue All-American honors immediately.
Finally, we have UConn’s Donovan Clingan. Now that Sanogo has been eliminated, Clingan has a clear path to becoming a collegiate basketball powerhouse. Clingan shot 65.5 percent from the field and averaged 6.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 13.1 minutes per game last season. In light of UConn losing Sanogo and its best perimeter weapon in Jordan Hawkins, he should get at least twice as much playing time next season and emerge as a critical cog in the Huskies’ attack.