College Basketball
Gonzaga's Mark Few says he's 'never' coached against another player like Zach Edey
College Basketball

Gonzaga's Mark Few says he's 'never' coached against another player like Zach Edey

Published Mar. 26, 2024 8:42 p.m. ET

Purdue's Zach Edey has been a force of nature thus far in the NCAA Tournament. 

The 7-foot-4, 300-pound big man has been that all season and is poised to win his second Wooden Award as the national men's college basketball player of the team. But Edey has taken things up a notch when the lights have gotten brighter, posting 26.5 points, 17.5 rebounds and three blocks per game through Purdue's first two games of March Madness.

The Boilermakers have cruised during their first two games against Grambling State and Utah State, but will face their toughest challenge yet in the tournament in a Sweet 16 matchup against Gonzaga Friday. On the other side, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few is fully aware of the threat Edey poses to his team after having gone up against an Edey-led Purdue team twice in non-conference tournaments in recent years.

No. 5 Gonzaga's keys to slowing down Purdue, Zach Edey | The Herd

Gonzaga Men's Basketball head coach Mark Few joins Colin Cowherd to break down how the Bulldogs will defend Purdue center Zach Edey.

"In 25 years I have been a head coach here, I have never dealt with a player, or an entity like him," Few said. "He is a really, really, really good basketball player. And he does everything well, I mean he posts the right way, can score. … And then at the other end he's just — we're a team that likes to shoot and are very effective in the paint, and like to shoot twos — it's tough to get shots off in the paint. 

"The best thing we got going for us is we played against him a couple times, so we've at least felt it, it won't be a shock."

For Few, while Edey's a massive problem in his own right, he thinks Purdue has loads of pieces that could cause trouble for the Bulldogs.

"But it's not only that, Matt Painter is one of the great people in all of sports, and just as good a basketball coach as there is," Few went on. "He does a phenomenal job of sets, and the things that they do offensively, and the people around [Edey] — their guards are so much better this year. That Braden Smith's a really, really, really good player. So it's gonna be a tough battle, but it's awesome to still be playing. And we've been ahead I think at halftime and into the second half both times we played ‘em, we just haven’t been able to quite finish it off."

Purdue takes on Few's Bulldogs for the third and most important time in the past two years on Friday at 7:39 p.m. ET.

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Can Gonzaga slow down Purdue's Zach Edey in the Sweek 16?

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