Duke basketball: Center taller than Zach Edey awaits on Oral Roberts

Duke basketball opponent Connor Vanover (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball opponent Connor Vanover (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team will face a center taller than Zach Edey on Thursday. 

There is no dominant force better than Zach Edey in college basketball this season but the Duke basketball team will get a test at one of the only players taller than the Purdue star on Thursday night.

Meet Oral Roberts’ 7-foot-5 center Connor Vanover.

You might vaguely remember the name from a season ago when the Blue Devils played Arkansas in the Elite Eight, although he did not play in the matchup.

However, Vanover has found a home with the Golden Eagles, averaging 12.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game, after beginning his career at California before landing with the Razorbacks.

ALSO READ: Scouting former March Madness darling, Oral Roberts

The rebounding numbers are low for a player who stands at his height but he only logs 25.8 minutes per contest.

In comparison, Connor Vanover is listed at 7-foot-5, 227 pounds while Purdue’s Zach Edey is a dominant 7-foot-4, 295 pounds.

Edey is the favorite to win the National Player of the Year after posting 22.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks this season and enjoyed a 21-point, 12-rebound showing against the Blue Devils in late November as the Boilermakers rolled to a championship in the Phil Knight Invitational.

Duke basketball could be getting valuable experience

Duke, if victorious this weekend in Orlando, could see Zach Edey and No. 1 seed Purdue once against during the Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden next weekend and a matchup against Connor Vanover could provide good experience if that comes to fruition.

It will be a challenge for the front-court of Kyle Filipowski, Dereck Lively, and Ryan Young but the Blue Devils have been playing its best basketball of the season, winning nine straight games entering the NCAA Tournament.

ALSO READ: Kyle Filipowski sets sights on NCAA Tournament title

Purdue will face Fairleigh Dickinson in the Round of 64 and then either Memphis or Florida Atlantic in the Round of 32.

Tipoff between No. 5 seed Duke and No. 12 seed Oral Roberts will be on Thursday, March 16 at 7:10p.m. ET (CBS).

Next. AP ranking not close to NCAA Tournament seeding. dark