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April 23, 2013

Edwards caught in Big Ten battle


GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -- It was a Sunday afternoon following two long days of basketball. The stands had thinned out for All Ohio Red's game against Boo Williams, and one of the main attractions for the game, four-star forward Vince Edwards, wasn't even playing because of a hip injury he suffered the day before.

Yet sitting on a steel bench, which was almost empty at this point in the EYBL Los Angeles tournament, was none other than Michigan head coach John Beilein.

Why? Because Beilein wants Edwards, and he's doing everything he can to get an edge over Purdue.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound Ohio forward didn't even try to couch it in an interview afterward. Edwards said his top two right now are Purdue and Michigan, and whichever school shows him the most love this summer is probably going to land him.

"I can't say enough about if the head coach is sitting here watching you," Edwards said. "It means they obviously want you."

Purdue, no doubt, caught a few of his games this past weekend as well. And Edwards certainly noticed.

Which is why he's in the middle of a Michigan-Purdue tug-of-war that is constantly on his mind.

"Michigan and Purdue are definitely recruiting me the hardest," Edwards said. "Those schools, both head coaches are telling me they pretty much recruit the same guys. They're the schools that are recruiting me the hardest They contact me every day they can."

At Michigan, Edwards likes Beilein, the offense, and, obviously, the winning season it had just a few weeks ago.

At Purdue, Edwards is a fan of Matt Painter and the way he develops his talent.

"I like both," Edwards said. "Honestly, I like Michigan because I really think their offense fits my style. Being a 6-7 wing who can shoot, that really fits in with Coach Beilein. He likes guys who can do that, so I think I can really fit in well with him and his offense and he thinks so, too.

"With Coach Painter, what I really like about Purdue is -- they're both actually great coaches -- but Coach Painter had to take some guys and develop them this year and you could tell by the way he coaches that he's a great coach. He can develop players really well."

Edwards weighs the pros and the cons of the two schools daily. He visited Michigan for its game against Indiana last season, and he was at Purdue in the fall as well. He'll probably be back sometime after the summer too, trying to find something he likes more about one over the other.

"Everybody has been saying like, 'Hey, did you see Michigan in the championship?'" Edwards said. "And you're like, yeah, that's big for them, but it doesn't get too big with me. I still think about Purdue, and just because they finish not a good season, doesn't mean they're not a great school."

Edwards hopes to have the decision pinned before his senior season starts in a few months.

Until then, he just wants to continue to see Michigan and Purdue showing him interest on a daily basis.

"Just show me, you know?" Edwards said. "Just show me that you're interested. Just show me like you've been showing me."



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