Big Man Ladder: Zach Edey remains on top, Johni Broome continues huge season

Big Man Ladder: Zach Edey remains on top, Johni Broome continues huge season

We’ve hit the home stretch of the college basketball season, and big men are charging some of the best teams in the country. At FOX Sports, we’re following the trend of centers dominating across the country. There is no singular “Year of the Big Man” anymore in college basketball, because in a sport where NIL opportunities are more valuable for these players, as opposed to potentially getting lost in the NBA G League or overseas, this is going to be an annual theme. 

The criteria for our featured big men: We are zoning in on players who stand 6-10 or taller and are making significant contributions for ranked teams across the country.

Between the top player in the sport trying to find March redemption at Purdue with Zach Edey leading the Boilers, Hunter Dickinson looking to get Kansas back on track to charge them to Arizona this April and Donovan Clingan fully healthy and aiming to repeat with No. 1 Connecticut, the trees in the college hoops forest are thriving in a variety of ways. Here’s our top seven at the moment, with notes from FOX Sports Research: 

Let’s get to the latest list! 

1. Zach Edey, Purdue

  • Stats: 23.3 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 62.3 FG%
  • Only player in college basketball to be averaging 20 points and two blocks per game (played in min of 75% of school’s games)
  • Edey’s 32 career 20-10 games are the most by a Big Ten player since the 2010-11 season
  • Has scored 10-plus points in 75 straight games
  • Leads all high-major players with 17 double-doubles; third among all players
  • Edey is currently the only player in D-I to average 20.0 PPG on 60% shooting
  • Owns the all-time record for Purdue with 56 double-doubles

2. Hunter Dickinson, Kansas

  • Stats: 18.2 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 55.8 FG%
  • One of just two players, and only high-major player, to average 18 PPG, 10 RPG and two assists per game
  • Has 10 games with eight or more made field goals and 10 or more rebounds, tied for second-most in the NCAA (Edey, 11, and Vonterius Woolbright, 10)
  • Dickinson is the only player in D-I to record multiple games with 20 rebounds this season
  • Dickinson is one of six players in Division-I to have a game with 20-plus points and 20-plus rebounds (Armando Bacot, Enrique Freeman, Michael Imariagbe, Aboubacar Traore, Edey)
  • Kansas is 12-2 this season when he records 10 or more rebounds
  • Ranks seventh in rebounds per game at 10.8; third among all high-major players

3. Johni Broome, Auburn

  • Stats: 16 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 55.5 FG%
  • One of just five players nationwide to be averaging more than 15 points per game paired with two or more blocks per game
  • Averaging 16.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.0 BPG at home in SEC play this season
  • Only player in the country with 80 rebounds, 20 blocks and 10 steals in January
  • One of just 11 players in the country to have three or more blocks in more than 10 games
  • Tied for the most double-doubles in the SEC with Florida’s Tyrese Samuel (9). His 55 career double-doubles are fifth nationally among active players
  • Only player in the SEC with a 30-point, 10-rebound, three-block game this season

4. Armando Bacot, North Carolina

  • Stats: 14.2 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 55.0 FG%
  • Bacot is one of six players in Division-I to have a game with 20+ points and 20+ rebounds (Hunter Dickinson, Enrique Freeman, Michael Imariagbe, Aboubacar Traore, Zach Edey)
  • Leads ACC in rebounding at 10.3 rebounds per game
  • UNC is 15-2 when Bacot scores 10 or more points
  • Second UNC player since 1981 to have over 2,000 points in his career (2,149) – currently third all-time in UNC history
  • One of two active players with more than 25 career games of 15-plus rebounds (26); Fardaws Aimaq (31 games)
  • Owns the UNC record with 546 career offensive rebounds

5. PJ Hall, Clemson 

  • Stats: 19.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 49.7 FG%
  • Only player in the ACC averaging 18 PPG and 6 RPG this season
  • His 7.2 made field goals per game are the most in the ACC
  • Clemson is 8-2 when Hall scores more than 20 points and just 8-5 when he fails to do so
  • One of just four players this season to have a game with 30 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks
  • Among players playing under 30 minutes per game, he has the highest scoring average in the country (19.9 PPG)

6. Ryan Kalkbrenner, Creighton

  • Stats: 17 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 63.8 FG%
  • Creighton is 10-1 this season when Kalkbrenner attempts more than 10 shots this season
  • Creighton is 15-1 in Kalkbrenner’s career when he records more than 20 points
  • One of just three players in the country shooting higher than 60% while also attempting more than 10 shots per game
  • Only player in Big East to be averaging more than 15 points per game paired with two or more blocks per game; one of just five players nationwide to do so
  • Leads all Power Conference players with a .679 true shooting percentage
  • Leads all centers playing 32.8 minutes per game this season

7. Donovan Clingan, UConn

  • Stats: 12.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 63.3 FG%
  • Clingan has blocked a shot in all 18 games he has appeared in and has multiple blocks in 14 of those games
  • UConn is 7-0 this season when Clingan scores 15 or more points
  • One of just two players over 7 feet to have six or more assists in a game this season
  • UConn is 8-0 when he attempts five or more free throws

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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