Gonzaga versus Purdue: Bulldogs need to increase the tempo to counteract Zach Edey’s defensive influence.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few had valid reasons for labeling Purdue’s Zach Edey as a “mystery.”

Standing tall at 7-foot-4, this All-American has posted remarkable statistics, marking his second consecutive season as a top contender for National Player of the Year. Edey boasts averages of 24.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game, all while shooting an impressive 62.3% from the field. In the NCAA Tournament’s initial two games, he has showcased talents reminiscent of Shaquille O‚ÄôNeal during his time at LSU. Few opponents have managed to effectively counter Edey’s presence in the post, especially considering his team’s impressive 40.9% shooting accuracy from beyond the arc.

Despite his offensive prowess, Edey’s exceptional ability to defend the rim and dissuade opponents from penetrating the paint significantly contributes to Purdue’s defensive strategy. His remarkable length proved pivotal in their previous encounter with Gonzaga during the Maui Invitational, where the Bulldogs attempted a season-high 32 3-point shots and were outscored in the paint 44-30 in a 73-63 loss.

Former Gonzaga All-American Dan Dickau and Gonzaga Nation reporter Cole Forsman dissected how the Bulldogs must adopt a high-tempo strategy and compel Edey to defend outside the paint if they hope to challenge the top-seeded Boilermakers in their upcoming matchup, among other insights, on a recent Gonzaga Nation episode.

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