The average college basketball fan might have trouble naming a player on Purdue’s roster that isn’t Zach Edey, but the Boilermakers are much more than the 7-foot-4, 295-pound big man who won a variety of national player of the year honors last season after leading the Big Ten school to a No. 1 team in the NCAA Tournament.
“Just the physicality and just the pace that we play with,” Watson said. “If he’s guarding me or (Graham Ike) we have to get him in ball screens and make him move a lot more. And just physicality and keep him away from the rim, pick him up halfcourt and just kind of bug him really. Annoy him, kind of like what dudes did to Drew last year to try to get him off his game.”
Tournament chair Dave Odom also maps out pairings, with feedback from ESPN and consideration of the teams’ time zones. After those are released, participating coaches occasionally call Odom to offer their opinion, but the former South Carolina and Wake Forest coach rarely answers. But he did when Few dialed up Odom after Gonzaga’s draw was announced in late July – No. 2 Purdue on Monday, possibly No. 7 Tennessee on Tuesday and potentially No. 1 Kansas or No. 4 Marquette on Wednesday.