1. Purdue (14-1)
The Boilermakers have the makings of an elite team in the nation for a second year in a row and it’s not all because of reigning national player of the year Zach Edey. Sure, he’s playing a starring role for these Boilermakers but Purdue is more than one man, and that was certainly apparent as Big Ten play got underway in earnest this week.
Playing just their second road game of the season, Purdue avoided upset this time around, securing a 67-53 win at Maryland on Tuesday. 23 points and 12 rebounds from Edey led the Boilermakers, who also benefited from a great effort from Braden Smith and a good shooting night from beyond the arc. Three days later the Boilermakers faced a Top 10 challenge from Illinois, holding on for an 83-78 win in which they looked dominant at times, getting 23 points from Trey Kaufman-Renn.
When Edey was off the court against the Fighting Illini, this Purdue squad still found a way to get the job done. He’s the most dynamic and dominant player in this sport, but he’s not the only major weapon here, and it’s a big reason why Purdue is among the national favorites. We can certainly expect more greatness from this team in the weeks to come against a Big Ten they currently outclass, continuing next week at Nebraska.
Thus concludes this week’s deep dive into the Top 25 teams in the nation. We’ve dived into the teeth of conference play and are starting to see these teams in real action; but did someone get left off the list? Are some teams ranked too high or too low?