Zach Edey recruiting history: How Purdue discovered, developed 3-star recruit into March Madness star

Zach Edey’s rise to becoming a two-time National Player of the Year and potential NBA Draft lottery pick did not happen overnight.

The Canadian native transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., following his sophomore season at Leaside High School in Toronto. He was said to be more focused on hockey and baseball prior to his move to the United States, as he didn’t pick up a basketball until he hit a growth spurt as a sophomore.

As a 7-3, 290-pound prospect, Edey still struggled to get high-major Division I offers because of the talent in front of him at IMG. Purdue took a chance on an underdeveloped prospect, though, and the rest is history.

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Zach Edey recruiting history

Edey did not make varsity in his first season at IMG Academy as a junior. The team was loaded with future NCAA Division I and NBA players, including Armando Bacot (North Carolina), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova and Pelicans), and Josh Green (Arizona and Mavericks).

Edey got called up to varsity as a senior, but the 7-footer was still hard-pressed for playing time. That roster bolstered even more future NCAA and NBA talent, including Mark Williams (Duke and Hornets), Jalen Johnson (Duke and Hawks), Jarace Walker (Houston and Pacers), and Jaden Springer (Tennessee and Boston Celtics).

As a result, Edey was just a three-star recruit in the class of 2020 with three Division I offers, two of which were from high-major schools.

Take a look at Edey’s prospect profile, courtesy of 247Sports.

  Rating
Stars Three-star
National Rank 436rd
Positional Rank 76th (Center)

Edey’s only Division I offers were from Purdue, Baylor and Western Kentucky, and he chose the Boilermakers as his future destination.

The Canadian big man didn’t thrive right away at the college level, either.

As a freshman, Edey came off the bench in 26 of his 28 games played, only averaging 8.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game before bumping those averages up to 14.4 points and 7.7 rebounds as a sophomore.

It wasn’t until his junior year that he became the dominant force he is today.

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Last year, Edey averaged 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game to earn him his first National Player of the Year award. After No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson bounced Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Edey came back with a vengeance.

The star center was even better as a senior, averaging 25.0 points and 12.2 rebounds per game to win his second consecutive National Player of the Year award.

His growth as a prospect has him going from a projected undrafted player in the 2023 NBA Draft to a potential lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Edey has come a long way from the days as a three-star recruit struggling to earn playing time at IMG Academy.

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