Candid Coaches: Will Zach Edey win nationwide participant of the yr in back-to-back seasons?

CBS Sports activities school basketball insiders Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander spent a month surveying 100-plus Division I males’s basketball coaches for our annual Candid Coaches collection. They polled throughout the game’s panorama: among the largest names in school basketball, but additionally small-school assistants in low-major leagues. Coaches agreed to share unfiltered opinions in trade for anonymity. We requested them 10 questions and are wrapping up our outcomes this week.

In 1958, The Sporting Information was the primary group handy out a nationwide participant of the yr award in school basketball. Within the ensuing years, 5 extra voting homes emerged that gave school basketball six historically acknowledged nationwide participant of the yr awards: The Naismith Award, The Related Press, The Picket Award, The Nationwide Affiliation of Basketball Coaches, The Oscar Robertson Award and Sporting Information. 

Within the six-plus many years since, 12 males’s basketball gamers have repeated as nationwide participant of the yr by successful the dignity from one of many six NPOY outfits in back-to-back years. In some years, there may be overlap as a result of one participant took dwelling some NPOY awards, whereas one other snagged one from a distinct group that very same season.

Here is the listing:

• Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati (’57-58, ’58-59, ’59-60)
• Jerry Lucas, Ohio State (’60-61, ’61-62)
• Invoice Bradley, Princeton (’63-64, ’64-65)
• Lew Alcindor, UCLA (’66-67, ’67-68, ’68-69)
• Pete Maravich, LSU (’68-69, ’69-70)
• Invoice Walton, UCLA (’71-72, ’72-73, ’73-74)
• David Thompson, NC State (’73-74, ’74-75)
• Mark Aguirre, DePaul (’79-80, ’80-81)
• Ralph Sampson, Virginia (’80-81, ’81-82, ’82-83)
• Michael Jordan, UNC (’82-83, ’83-84)
• Jay Williams, Duke (’00-01, ’01-02)
• Luke Garza, Iowa (’19-20, ’20-21)

As a result of school basketball has no Heisman Trophy analogue, the participant of the yr scenario in hoops can generally get sticky. Shane Battier gained 5 of the six NPOY awards in 2001 … however his teammate, Jay Williams, gained the NABC’s model of it that season, stopping the sweep and permitting Williams to technically go back-to-back after he gained all six in 2002. Obi Toppin gained 5 of the six in 2020, however Sporting Information opted for Garza, which then gave the Iowa large man back-to-back allowance in 2021 after he swept all six. 

In case you’re searching for the final individual to win NPOY in back-to-back seasons in not less than two of the massive six awards — and particularly, probably the most acclaimed ones: Naismith, Picket and Robertson — it’s important to return greater than 40 years. Sampson’s three-peat at Virginia was the final time males’s school basketball really had a no-doubt-about-it repeat nationwide participant of the yr winner. 

So, we requested 100-plus coaches:

Will Zach Edey repeat as nationwide participant of the yr?  

For coaches who voted no, listed below are gamers who obtained a number of votes: Hunter Dickinson, Kyle Filipowski, Armando Bacot, Donovan Clingan, Ryan Kalkbrenner.

Quotes that stood out

Why Edey’s gonna do it

• “Zach Edey is probably the most dominant power. He continues to enhance and elevate his sport and he shouldn’t be penalized this season for FDU’s miraculous sport. If not for that, we might all be within the Zach Edey camp for participant of the yr.” 

• “I do know it is all the time smarter to take the sector, however Edey simply ran away with it final season. Purdue goes to be actually, actually good once more. I simply do not see how he falls off. So I will go together with Edey. However I will not be shocked if it is one other large. Control Filipowski.”

• “Man places up online game numbers.”

• “Zach Edey will win Nationwide Participant of the 12 months for a second straight season until there may be voter fatigue from watching him dominate. The high-end star energy on the guard spot simply is not there and he is the very best of the bigs.”

• “Edey is probably the most dominant power within the school sport and the school guidelines permit him to stay dominant as a real low-post middle. There’s not a participant in America that impacts the school sport like he does night time in and night time out. He forces a double workforce on offense, is sort of inconceivable to blockout and utterly takes away the paint defensively.”

• “I believe his stage of manufacturing is at such a excessive stage that, even when he would not play properly, his numbers are nonetheless extraordinarily spectacular and the impression he makes on successful continues to be very excessive. And they will have an excellent yr.” 

• “It is onerous to think about another person successful [player of the year] over Edey. He is probably the most dominant participant in school basketball. Final yr we performed at Purdue, and every little thing they run goes via him. The underrated motive why I imagine he has an opportunity to repeat is he’s taking part in with nice guards in Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer. As freshmen they did a hell of a job taking part in with Edey. You’d must think about with one other yr of chemistry, Edey could also be much more dominant, if that is potential.”

Why he’ll fall quick

• “Historical past tells us no, so I will say no. Who wins the award? That I do not know, however historical past simply tells us that it will not be Zach, so I might take the sector.”

• “It isn’t simply having a great yr. (Oscar) Tshiebwe, Kentucky had a down yr. The accidents they undergo and the game-planning for him will probably be completely completely different. It is like saying Tiger Woods vs. the sector. Though you understand there is a good probability, it is robust to go in opposition to the sector.” 

• “Similar to Edey final yr, any person not being mentioned and off the radar will win it.”

• “(Donovan) Clingan as a result of he had a really excessive O-rating and utilization on the very best workforce within the nation. He simply wants to take care of that stage of effectivity with extra minutes and his counting stats (factors and rebounds) will probably be player-of-the-year stage. He additionally actually impacts the sport defensively. He’s a really versatile participant, which means you do not have to be married to at least one type with him. He makes you nice in transition due to his potential to rim-run, but additionally he’s an elite half-court participant who makes others higher by placing strain on the rim within the pick-and-roll.” 

• “No, solely as a result of it is very onerous to win back-to-back. It’s a must to be that a lot better than you had been the yr earlier than.” 

The takeaway 

Prior to now two years, Luke Garza and Oscar Tshiebwe had been the primary reigning NPOYs to return to D-I males’s school basketball since Tyler Hansbrough in 2008-09. None of them might rise above the remainder of the game for a second straight season. That is actually onerous to do, even whenever you’re already a dominant participant.

However, barring damage, I am right here to inform you Edey’s going to do it in 2024. One main motive why, as I detailed in a takeout piece on the 7-foot-4 Canadian colossus earlier this yr: He is nonetheless fairly new at this basketball factor. Edey rejected basketball till halfway via his highschool profession. And but, right here he stands as a singular powerhouse. His ascent is rare. Edey’s expertise are nonetheless being honed. As a result of he is so devoted, so large and nonetheless rising as a participant — and since he is doing this for among the best coaches within the sport in Matt Painter — it is establishing for Edey to once more be probably the most precious and irreplaceable participant in school basketball. 

His averages final season: 22.3 factors, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists to pair with 60.7% taking pictures. Edey was the primary participant in NCAA historical past since blocks grew to become an official stat to log not less than 750 factors, 400 rebounds, 70 blocks and 50 assists in a season. Even when his position barely decreases (onerous to see that occuring), Purdue is poised to once more be among the best groups within the nation. 

The desk is ready for Edey to repeat. 

The story of Purdue’s push for March redemption will probably be one of many largest in school hoops in ’23-24. How Edey handles new defensive ways tossed his means will probably be one other. He might have gone to the NBA and, for my part, would have been drafted. It is higher that he determined to return. In coming again, he is chasing school basketball immortality. I believe he will get there and edges out the likes of Dickinson (who comfortably had probably the most write-in votes among the many coaches who stated Edey would not do it), Clingan, Bacot, Filipowski, Kalkbrenner, Justin Moore, Tyler Kolek or whomever you need to undertaking as a First Group All-American. 

It is a fantastic factor for males’s school basketball to have somebody like Edey choose again in. For him, final season was particular. This season could possibly be legendary. 

His dimension makes him an attraction. 

His potential makes him, and his workforce, arguably the largest story heading into the season. And once we get to the top of it, even when Purdue would not win a nationwide championship or get Painter to his first Remaining 4, I imagine Edey will once more be holding up his {hardware}, including to his crowded trophy case and solidifying his identify amongst the all-time legends of the sport.

Earlier Candid Coaches questions:

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