College Basketball
College basketball national player of the year watch: Edey, Wilson lead the way
College Basketball

College basketball national player of the year watch: Edey, Wilson lead the way

Updated Feb. 7, 2023 4:49 p.m. ET

FOX Sports college basketball reporter John Fanta has referred to him as "a generational big man," while colleague Andy Katz says, "His size makes him impossible to defend."

Purdue center Zach Edey has the sport's full attention.

Heading into the final month of the men’s college basketball regular season, Edey is the odds-on favorite to take home national player of the year honors. It doesn’t hurt that his Purdue Boilermakers sit at 22-2 overall and hold the top ranking in the latest AP Top 25 poll.

But as dominant as Edey has been this season, he isn’t alone when it comes to individual standouts.  


Here is a look at some of the top candidates for national player of the year.

Zach Edey, Purdue

The 7-foot-4 center has been dominant throughout the entire season, averaging 22.4 points and 13.2 rebounds per game, both of which rank in the top five nationally. He will likely become the first Big Ten player to lead the conference in both categories since Ohio State’s Evan Turner did it back in 2010. Edey has totaled 19 double-doubles in 23 games this season, including his sixth 30-10 game this past weekend. That is the most by a Purdue player since Glenn Robinson had 10 during the 1993-94 campaign.

Zach Edey hammers home an alley-oop dunk to extend Purdue's lead

Zach Edey throws down an alley-oop dunk during Purdue's 80-60 win over Penn State.

Jalen Wilson, Kansas 

When Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun left to the NBA, it was Wilson’s time to shine. The redshirt junior has done just that, averaging 21.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while leading the Jayhawks to an 18-5 record. Wilson is shooting a career-best 35.5% from 3-point range and has scored in double figures in every game this season. He has totaled 159 points over the last six games, which marks the highest point total by a Kansas player in a six-game stretch since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97.

Brandon Miller, Alabama

The last freshman to win the Naismith Player of the Year award was Zion Williamson back in 2019. While Miller might not catch Edey in the race, that shouldn’t take away from what has been one of the most impressive true freshman seasons in recent memory. The 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward is putting up 18.8 points and 8.2 boards per contest, all while leading the Crimson Tide to an impressive 20-3 mark and a perfect 10-0 record in SEC play. Miller has scored 30 or more points on three separate occasions this season, which is the most of any freshman in the nation.

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana

Jackson-Davis is playing like someone who knows there are only a few games remaining before his college basketball chapter comes to an end. The Hoosiers’ senior big man has been nothing short of dominant over the past month, averaging 25.3 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game over the last six games. Jackson-Davis had 25 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots in the Hoosiers’ 79-74 win over No. 1 Purdue this past weekend. He became the first player with 25 points and five blocks in a win over a No. 1-ranked team since Marcus Camby did it in UMass’ win over Kentucky in November 1995.

Trayce Jackson-Davis throws it down

Trayce Jackson-Davis throws down an alley-oop slam in Indiana's 86-70 win over Ohio State.

Ąžuolas Tubelis, Arizona

Tubelis has been the best player on an Arizona team chasing a No. 1 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. The 6-foot-11 big man out of Lithuania leads the Pac-12 in both scoring (20.8) and rebounding (9.5), while guiding the Wildcats to a 21-3 record and 10-3 mark in conference play. Tubelis put up 40 points in a win over Oregon last week, becoming the first Arizona player to do so since Damon Stoudamire had 40 against Washington State back in 1995.

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