A giant even among basketball players, center Zach Edey from Purdue is showing the world just how terrifying someone his size can truly be. With an astounding height of 7′ 4” and incredible body control, Zach has been a trailblazer for not only the Boilermakers, but also the Canadian national team. As the excitement for March Madness begins to encapsulate the nation, he has been further proving that this year’s tournament will be an exhibit of exceptional skill and athleticism. In honor of his amazing performances, Zach Edey has been named our Unfinished Athlete of the Month.
A Terror on the Floor
As a sophomore, the center has been a menace for shooters around him. Though he only averages a little more than 1 block per game this season, his mere presence on the floor is an alarm for every scorer in his vicinity.
— Purdue On BTN (@PurdueOnBTN) November 13, 2021
And yet, an abundance of untapped potential lies in his scoring ability. The big man has a season field goal percentage of just over 68% shooting, showing how efficient he can be on the offensive end. Even though he hasn’t attempted any threes, Zach has maintained a free throw rating of around 65% on the season. While this could be interpreted as too low, it is genuinely impressive that at 7 ft 4 in he is still able to shoot somewhat efficiently from the line. Plus, he makes up for it in the sheer amount of free throws he gets, being known around the league for always getting fouled due to his size.
A seemingly optimized machine for second chance points, Edey has shown that he is not only one of the best centers in the NCAA due to his size. But, grabbing rebounds and executing putbacks against other 7-footers like Chet Holmgren is no easy feat. In college basketball and in the professionals, being a traditional big man requires not only flawless technique but also a high basketball IQ, which contrasts the outdated belief that the center position is solely about height. The seven double-doubles he has this year with points and rebounds are a testament to his commitment to the game of basketball.
Edey’s place as the Unfinished Athlete of the Month is not his first time on a pedestal, however. In the 2021 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup in Latvia, the center was tasked with carrying his team through the tournament, and through his leadership and command of games, Canada scored bronze. In this tournament, the big man averaged 15.1 points and 14.1 rebounds, which is the highest number of rebounds gotten by any player in the World Cup. Additionally, he also averaged over two blocks. His performance showed the world just how dominant he could be on the floor, with him being named to the all-tournament team in recognition of his exceptional use of traditional center style of play.
In his freshman season with the Boilermakers, Edey earned Big 10 All-Freshman Team Honors. Even after only starting two games out of the 28 on the year, as a freshman he was still able to put up great numbers for his minutes, averaging 8.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in just 14.7 minutes of play. This efficiency is what spurred his promotion to a starter in the 2021-2022 season. And let’s just say he’s not disappointing. Even in their recent loss to Michigan State, a horrible upset for the Purdue team, Zach Edey appeared as one of their brightest spots, scoring a season-high 25 points and a couple of boards and blocks as well. This season it seems he’s put a bit more emphasis on the scoring aspect of his game, breaking the twenty point mark many a time.
As the Boilermakers continue their highly successful season, it’s clear that an integral part of their scheme is the 7′ 4” Goliath on the floor who provides them with a brick wall on defense and a paint beast on offense. His potential seems to be as limitless as his wingspan, which is why he is Unfinished.