With the new season rapidly approaching, we look back on a year where many new faces were able to make a significant impact for Purdue. Vince Edwards, a 6’8” sophomore, was one of the most consistent players on a strong Boilermaker team. Though the forward found a great deal of success as a freshman last season, expectations have risen, and Edwards should be a big part in what we hope is a dominant season from the 2015-16 Boilermakers.
Edwards met nearly every expectation set out for him last season. The freshman led the team in assists (2.7 APG), was fourth in scoring (8.8 PPG), and third in rebounds (4.8 RPG). Edwards is not an overly-flashy player, but uses his athleticism and length (7’ wingspan) to promote a well-balanced game. His impressive attacking ability and capacity for contact allows for him to get to the rim with ease. He has a decent shooting stroke that could use some polishing. Defensively, Edwards does a nice job at using his athleticism and size to bully wings and create problems in the paint.
Edwards found a great deal of success on the court for Purdue last season. In addition to winning three B1G Freshman of the Week awards, he was one of five freshmen in the nation to average 8.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 2.5 APG. Edwards also showed a great deal of promise in big-game situations. In Purdue’s NCAA Tournament matchup against Cincinnati, Edwards led the team with 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Edwards has also spent time meshing with incoming freshman, Caleb Swanigan, during U19 USA Basketball tryouts. The two were able to develop an early connection, according to Edwards. “We had some really good connections really early. I’m hoping we can translate that when he gets back.” Edwards said in an interview with IndyStar. This connection is crucial to the team’s success, as their combined talent could be enough to elevate this team to the top of the B1G.
Edwards has high expectations as we enter a new season. We should expect to see him start right out of the gate, including an increased role on both ends of the floor, and more looks for the forward from the wing. If Edwards is able to improve on what we saw last season, expect Purdue to find a great amount of success on both ends of the floor.
Purdue University ’19