Junior Vincent Edwards has had a tough start to the 2016-17 season.
The last we saw of Vincent Edwards last year, he had a double-double on Little Rock in the NCAA tournament scoring 24 points on 7-16 shooting and pulling in 13 rebounds. He followed that up by going through the NBA draft process. The sky looked to be the limit for Edwards when he decided to come back to Purdue for his junior year. I have to say, Vincent was the least of my worries going into this year.
This year has been a totally different year for Edwards with the exception of the second half vs. Auburn in Cancun and the first game of the year against McNeese State, Edwards has been a completely different player than last year. Going into the Morehead State game, Edwards is averaging 10.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, and 3.4 turnovers per game. The turnover stat jumps out as he only averaged 1.7 turnovers last year. He scored 19 points versus McNeese State and 15 against Auburn, but hasn’t been over 12 points in any other game so far this season.
The points per game being down has been a problem, but not as much of a problem as what seems to be a lack of aggressiveness. I’d say the turnover problem is because of this lack of aggressiveness by Edwards. In an interview with Gold & Black, Edwards said, “I just need to put myself in a better position to be aggressive and make plays, stop being robotic and stop being methodical, because that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s not getting me anywhere and it hasn’t been good for this team at all, either.”
It’s good Edwards knows the problem. I have confidence in the coaching staff and in Edwards that this will be just a temporary slump. He may be the most important member of this team because of the versatility he can bring to the lineup. Purdue’s success this year in a large part will be dependent on how Edwards rebounds after this rough start. If Purdue is to have a deep run in March, Edwards will have to return to his late sophomore form and be a leader the team needs him to be.