'Wish I was him': Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter on Zach Edey's decision

Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter joined JMV on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the end of the Boilermakers' season, player movement, the transfer portal, and name image and likeness.

Matt Painter on Zach Edey

Zach Edey, Purdue's junior center and the unanimous National Player of the Year, announced Tuesday that he would enter the NBA Draft while retaining college eligibility. Painter said he would help Edey along the way and "support him either way."

"I look at it like I wish I was in his position, and I just want him to make the best position for himself," the coach said.

Another issue facing Edey is restricted NIL money he is allowed to receive in the United States because he is from another country, Canada. Painter said Edey's performance this season will help him transition from using a student visa to a work visa, which would allow him greater flexibility in pursuing NIL deals.

"That will definitely help him be able to do his work here," said.

Joining the team: Purdue lands Southern Illinois' Lance Jones

Matt Painter on NIL

Painter said he isn't interested in discussing NIL opportunities with recruits, but they are welcome to seek compensation through the Boilermaker Alliance, which helps athletes through non-profit entities.

"We've kept it out of the recruiting space, which I think is the right thing to do," Painter said. "I don't get into bidding wars. If someone is looking for the highest number, then Purdue's not your spot."

Purdue recruited former Lawrence Central guard Nijel Pack after the 2021-22 season, when he left Kansas State. Pack ended up at Miami, and he received a lucrative NIL deal.

Matt Painter on Brandon Newman

The only Purdue player entering the transfer portal this offseason, so far, is swingman Brandon Newman, who entered the starting lineup late in the season. Painter has, at times, chided players who transfer, but he's fully on-board with Newman's decision.

"I'm happy for him. He got his degree from Purdue," Painter said. "He wants a more enhanced role. There's nothing wrong with that.

"I've been on those guys. I don't think you should run from adversity. That's not the case here with Brandon."

Matt Painter on loss to Fairleigh Dickinson

Painter said he hasn't watched his team's season-ending loss to Fairleigh Dickinson, the second time a No. 1 NCAA tournament seed lost to a No. 16. He understands the situation can be "at times humiliating," he will get around to it.

"I just have a tough time with that last game every season," noting that the end to any season is emotional for coaches, players and their families. "We had a great journey. We just had a terrible ending."

Painter said he is looking at the double-digit seeds that have beaten Purdue in recent seasons, and how he can adjust his team's make-up. However, he said taking better care of the ball and shooting better are simply about performance in those games, not roster construction.

"We're not trading baseball cards," he said.

Painter noted that additions of recruit Myles Colvin, redshirt Cam Heide and incoming transfer Lance Jones may help with protecting the ball and pressuring opponents. He's also eager to see how Fletcher Loyer, Braden Smith and Trey Kaufman-Renn improve in the second seasons.

Matt Painter on transfer portal

Painter spoke at length about the transfer portal, and how it teaches players that a simple change of scenery each season can fix any issue a player faces. He is proud that his team has had much less turnover than most programs in recent seasons.

Last season, Eric Hunter Jr. left Purdue for Butler, and David Jenkins Jr. came in from Utah. So far this year, just Newman has left and Jones has arrived from Southern Illinois.

"You've got to understand when it's right to change," he said.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter on Zach Edey, transfer portal