Zach Edey is the latest star in Purdue’s lineage of elite big men. During the 2022-23 season, Edey’s game hit a new level.

With former teammate and fellow big man Trevion Williams off to the NBA, Edey posted career-high numbers across the board, including in minutes played and free-throw percentage. In the process, Edey was the consensus National Player of the Year, the B1G’s Player of the Year and a consensus All-American while leading Purdue to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

After the season, the 7-foot-4 center confirmed he would test the NBA Draft waters while retaining his college eligibility. Ahead of Wednesday night’s deadline, Edey officially confirmed he will withdraw from the draft and return to West Lafayette for another season.

Impact of Zach Edey’s return for Purdue

There’s no overstating the impact Edey’s return has on projections for the Boilermakers entering the 2023-24 season. He finished last season with per-game averages of 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.1 blocks while shooting 61% from the floor. Edey led Purdue in scoring, rebounding, blocks and minutes per game.

Though ultra-talented Purdue’s youthful backcourt of Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer fell apart down the stretch against Fairleigh Dickinson in a historic NCAA Tournament loss by the Boilermakers. But with another year for those players and the return of Edey, Purdue should open as a heavy favorite to repeat as B1G champs and make a run at a Final Four under Matt Painter.