Andy Katz has been impressed with Purdue’s start to the 2022-23 season. The Boilermakers, a Sweet 16 team in March, are 6-0 and are coming off a 75-56 victory over Duke on Sunday in Portland to win the Phil Knight Invitational.

In Katz’s eyes, Matt Painter’s team is No. 1 in the country despite the AP poll putting it at No. 5. He explained why on Tuesday, pointing to the Boilermakers’ “dominant” performances at the event led by Zach Edey.

“(He) has taken his game to another level,” Katz said. “The big question for Edey coming into this season was could he handle being the primary post by himself? A year ago, he had Trevion Williams…Well, over the summer, there’s no question Zach Edey worked on his stamina, his body. He’s become more efficient, a better passer, and a tremendous leader for Purdue.”

While the Boilermakers are missing Jaden Ivey this year, freshmen Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer have stepped up, with Katz saying they “really grew up” at the PKI. He was also complimentary of Ethan Morton and Mason Gillis.

“The pieces are there for Purdue to not just be a Big Ten title contender…Last season we thought they were a Final Four favorite. They are looking like a Final Four team,” he said.