Edey focus on Final 4, not second Wood Award

  • Myron Medcalf, ESPN Personnel WriterMar 30, 2024, 05:36 PM ET


    • Covers college basketball
    • Signed up with ESPN.com in 2011
    • Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato

DETROIT– Zach Edey knows he has made a shot at history.But the ruling Wood Award winner and the preferred to win the honor again this season is focused only on Sunday’s matchup versus Tennessee and the opportunity to lead Purdue to its 3rd Final 4 look in school history.

“If you give me the option in between the Final Four and two-time nationwide player of the year, I’m taking the Last 4 every time,” Edey said Saturday before his group’s match versus Tennessee in the Elite Eight in Detroit.Only former Virginia star Ralph Sampson Jr.(1982, 1983)won the Wood Award two times in his career.Edey said he’s chasing after only a championship, as Purdue tries to become the second team in NCAA tournament history to win a national title a year after suffering a loss to a 16-seed. Tennessee star Dalton Knecht, who is probably the only player with a possibility to upset Edey in the Wood Award race, echoed the Purdue star’s sentiments about the stakes ahead.Tennessee suffered a 71-67 loss to Purdue in the

Maui Invitational in November. The game was tied with 3:10 to play and Knecht cut Purdue’s cause 3 points with 17 seconds on the game clock, however the Vols couldn’t secure the victory.This time around, Knecht stated he understands he needs to be more physical and attack the spaces. And if his team gets the win while Edey gets another Wooden, he will not shed a tear about it. “That award is cool and all but at the end of the day, I think the nationwide title would be a lot better, “Knecht stated. “To be the last team standing is the supreme objective. I don’t really care about that private award. I ‘d rather win the nationwide title. “In the first matchup between Tennessee and Purdue, Knecht finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds and

3 turnovers while Edey signed up 23 points and 10 rebounds.Knecht stated while he wants to send out Edey and his colleagues home on Sunday, he likewise appreciates his dominance.

“He’s done it for 2 years now and you have to admire that and have respect for that, being able to put up those

statistics for numerous years,”he stated.”You certainly have to have some respect for him.”Edey said Knecht’s effect is obvious, too. The former junior college player and Northern Colorado star has actually increased to a forecasted top-10 pick in ESPN’s latest mock draft after a remarkable season.”He’s a great player, certainly,”Edey said about Knecht.”That does not require to be stated. He’s an All-American.

He is among the very best in the country. Sort of the method he’s done it, he increased a level and he’s taken his game up a level. It’s quite incredible, actually. I have a great deal of regard for him and the method he’s played and the way he’s done it, too. “Edey says he did not return to school to go after the Wooden Award once again. The chance he’ll have on

Sunday was his only motive.Yet, the possibility of capturing another Wooden Award is still tough to digest, he said.” I ‘d be lying if I stated it’s not difficult

to cover my head around [the possibility], “he stated.

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