Busting Brackets

Zach Edey enters top 5 all-time for single-season free throw attempts in Elite Eight

Zach Edey is the first player since Pete Maravich in 1970 to attempt over 400 free throws in a single season and in Purdue's Elite Eight matchup with Tennessee, he climbed into the top five for a single-season in college basketball history.

Purdue center Zach Edey (15)
Purdue center Zach Edey (15) / Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA

It’s just about impossible to stop the 7-foot-4 reigning National Player of the Year, Zach Edey, and most college basketball fans would argue that the referees make it that much harder. With his 403rd and 404th free-throw attempts of the season, coming with 13:06 left in the first half of Purdue’s Elite Eight matchup with Tennessee, Edey passed Dickie Hemric for fifth all-time in single season FTAs. 

If you’re not familiar with the name, Hemric was an All-American center at Wake Forest, playing from 1951-55, who attempted 403 free throws in the 1954-55 season. Edey is the only player from the top 10 to have played a game after the 1969-70 season and six of the 10 players on the list played in the 1950s. The modern FTA’s from a modern player was Tyler Hansbrough with 377 in 2007-08. 

While unlikely, Edey could conceivably pass the all-time record of 444 held by Frank Selvy of Furman, one that has stood for 70 years. Purdue would likely need a run to the national championship for its star player to accomplish that feat. 

Edey came into the Elite Eight with 886 total points, averaging 24.6 per game, the most in the country. A staggering 287 of those points have come at the free throw line for the 71.4% free throw shooter. 

With his incredible size and athleticism, Edey is an unconventional player for the modern game, one who is a nightmare to officiate, but this season has bee unprecedented. Last year, when Edey averaged 22.3 points per game and scored 757 total points, he only attempted 241 free throws, making 177. While Purdue has made a much longer run in the postseason, Sunday’s Elite Eight matchup is on the Boilermaker’s 37th of the season, compared to 34 in 2022-23.

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