Drew Edwards caught our attention this past March at the Metro Challenge 60, where he proved to be very talented with the ball in his hands and particularly when looking to score.
Edwards proceeded to tour with Maryland 3D on the travel circuit and also attended the Lawson/Oladipo camp to open the July live period. To be honest, Edwards didn't play terribly well there.
Although local to the event — something that tends to benefit players — he struggled to get going from the field and didn't look comfortable in a camp setting. Still, he told colleague Rachel Klein that week that he'd drawn offers from USC, Clemson, Dayton, Richmond, Providence and Kansas State, among others. So, obviously, he'd generated some admirers.
Playing with Maryland 3D later in the month, he showed why he's arguably a top-100 prospect in the senior class. Edwards scored comfortably and showed off an impressive array of ball skills to complement his primary talent.
He committed to Providence this week and will give the Friars what's likely to be a very productive four seasons.
Edwards is a scorer first. He knocks in threes — even while struggling at Lawson/Oladipo, I could see he wielded a nice stroke — and is even better shooting off the dribble. He's accurate with his shot while driving right or left and smoothly transitions from dribble into pull-up, mid-range jumper.
If he's able to knock down threes consistently, his medium-range scoring will become all the more potent. Meanwhile, as mentioned, he's an excellent secondary ballhandler for a wing and could even run point in a pinch. His passing is advanced as well, and he has the solid frame to become powerful after a couple years of strength work.
Edwards appears to thrive in structure. He likes to have a sense for his teammates' court spacing, obviously something that doesn't manifest at the typical individual camp. Maryland 3D isn't a powerhouse AAU outfit loaded with elite prospects, but the familiarity with his teammates there — and the plays his coaches facilitated for him — enabled him to play far more efficiently.
He doesn't possess explosive athleticism and, at 6-3, doesn't have great size to play off the ball. Meanwhile, he's prone to shooting droughts that hamper the remainder of his game. Edwards' effectiveness goes as his shot goes to an extent, because that's the axis by which he pivots into other contributions.
The upside is that his defense should be okay due to his strength. Even if he lacks elite lateral quickness, being muscular should enable him to compensate.
Providence earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament last season based largely on an ability to score — PC boasted the nation's No. 22 adjusted offense, according to Ken Pomeroy — and Edwards projects as a valuable member of an offense-oriented program.
Along with that, his ability to play in structure is ahead of his age and that may allow him to play a lot early. Edwards' command of ballhandling and passing also helps, and over the next year he can focus on becoming more consistent with his shot and the other aspects of his game even when his shot isn't falling. He's an outstanding pickup for the Friars.