Canadian big man Zach Edey put together his most dominant and complete NCAA basketball effort by scoring a career-high 30 points as the Purdue Boilermakers beat the Austin Peay Governors 63-44 on Friday night at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana.
The seven-foot-four center from Toronto, Ontario put on a hook shot, shooting clinic by finishing the first-half a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor and knocked down his first nine shots of the game, on his way to a near perfect 12-of-13 (92.3%) percent for the game.
Edey also connected on 6-of-10 free-throw attempts and pulled down eleven rebounds to record his second straight double-double and 14th of his career at Purdue.
Following the departure of Jaden Ivey (Detroit Pistons) and Trevion Williams (G League), the seven-footer Edey, is expected to take on a bigger offensive role during his junior season.
Set last season, the new career-high in points surpasses the previous high-mark of 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting in 22 minutes against Michigan State and comes two nights after Edey grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds, but struggled to convert similar easy looks on just 4-of-13 attempts in the season-opener against Milwaukee.
Thus far, in two official games against mid-major competition, the Canadian has displayed much improved strength, conditioning, agility and mobility, both as a screener and defender. The big man is consistently battling hard for position, resulting in deep paint touches, offensive rebounds and high percentage shot attempts.
Asked to discuss how his newfound ability has helped improve his game, a confident Edey mentioned during postgame that he has been putting in the necessary work to get better.
“I’ve been guarding Caleb (Furst) all year in practice, Caleb has been doing the same thing, he picks and pops, he shoots the three, he can drive off of pump fakes, so it’s something I have been practising all-year, so it’s not like, it shocked me this game.”
The 2021-22 second-team All-Big Ten selection is also staying patient, reading the defence in half-court sets and his doing a great job of zipping opposite side, cross court passes to create opportunities for teammates.
The main attraction of the 131 Canadians currently competing in the 2022-23 NCAA men’s college basketball season, Edey is expected to have a big season will be Canada’s top NBA Draft commodity come June 2023.