IU Basketball: Could Kel’el Ware Be IU’s Answer to Zach Edey?

IU's Kel'el Ware could be the answer to Purdue's Zach Edey
(via Kel'el Ware's Instagram)

Back in April of this year, members of the IU faithful unlocked their phones and saw that IU landed a massive Oregon transfer Kel’el Ware. With the name of a Kryptonian, IU fans hope that Kel’el Ware can be their Superman to fight the Darkseid that resides in West Lafayette, Zach Edey. 

Long in Length, Narrow in Width

The obvious positive trait that Ware has is his height. He stands at a full seven feet tall. He was highly sought after in this transfer window, being ranked by 247sports as the number 2 transfer student in the market.

Ware is a former four-star recruit out of Little Rock, Arkansas. He played in the McDonald’s All-American game last spring. So this signing is nothing to shake a stick at. This kid can outright play.

So he’s good on length with his seven-foot frame, perfect to counter Edey in the fall. The physical attribute he lacks is bulk. At seven feet, he only weighs 210 pounds. Now compare that with Edey’s listed 295 pounds.

Ware may have decent length to combat Edey’s 7’4” height, but the kid is a twig. I don’t care if you are 8 feet tall, if you don’t tip the scales at over 260, Edey will bully you in the paint. I can already see it, Ware playing solid defense until Edey decides to put a shoulder into him and bully him under the basket for an easy lay-in. Ware needs to bulk up in the coming months or IU fans are just in for more of the same when it comes to defending Zach Edey. 

Ware’s Offensive Abilities

Watching his tape it is immediately clear what Ware’s favorite move is. He loves gathering the ball in the high post, lowering a shoulder into his defender, and doing his best impression of Dirk Nowitzki to get the bucket.

This style of play can become a problem real fast for Zach Edey. Edey can move well for his size, but closing out a good shooter is far from one of his strengths. Closing out shooters may be one of the few things you can list as an Edey weakness.

Well that and beating 16 seeds in the NCAA tournament…sorry, Purdue fans. I couldn’t resist…and why are you even on an IU article in the first place?

Mediocre Numbers in Oregon

Ware’s first-season numbers with Oregon were pretty pedestrian last year. He averaged just under 16 minutes and 6.6 points. His block numbers were pretty impressive, however, as he averaged 1.3 blocks in his very meager minute share. I am unsure of what Oregon’s center situation was last season, so there could be a very good reason that Ware did not see the floor as much as 4-star recruit should.

But there is also a possibility that the didn’t see the floor much because he just wasn’t living up to expectations in team practices. Whatever happened, it inspired the want in Ware to pack up and head east to Bloomington.

So there you have it, IU fans. Your new Superman. Will he live up to that billing? Who’s to say? What we can say is that at least you now have the hope you found something that can help stem the scourge that is Zach Edey. 

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