A “Nobody” Leads Boilers to Undefeated Record in Mackey

A “Nobody” Leads Boilers to Undefeated Record in Mackey



West Lafayette, In – Senior day at Mackey Arena started off a little differently than normal.

And finished that way as well.

Before the Purdue Band played the National Anthem, they serenaded Purdue’s Zach Edey by playing the Canadian National Anthem. Edey is a native of Toronto, Ontario.

Edey, along with five other Boilermaker players and two managers, suited up for the final time to play in front of the Mackey Arena faithful.

After Matt Painter’s highly ranked squad dispatched of the feisty Wisconsin Badgers 78-70 in front of 14,876 patrons, the senior basketball players each were introduced with their loved ones, and then took the mic to speak to the appreciative crowd.

Edey – last year’s National Player of the Year and likely NPOY this season as well – was last in the batting order of speakers.

The 7-4 Center thanked his family, the fans, his teammates, and the coaches, just as his teammates had done before him.

He then handed the microphone to his mother Julia, who is a fixture and very popular in Mackey Arena. She spoke glowingly of Purdue and the experience her son has had in West Lafayette.

Then she told a story.

Zach and her had come to Purdue for his official visit. There was an intersquad scrimmage that day in front of a packed Mackey Arena. They both shook their heads in disbelief.

She described that after the game, a young Boilermaker fan came up and asked Zach for an autograph. Zach told the young boy he wasn’t one of the players. He gazed up and said he still wanted his autograph.

So, Zach signed the item and gave it back to the boy. The excited boy ran off to find another hero to sign his sign. Zach looked at his mom.

“That kid just got an autograph from a nobody,” he said.

They both chuckled to each other.

Well, that ‘nobody’ has turned into quite somebody. The game played on this bright, sunny, but windy, afternoon, was certainly no different.

Edey was badgered and beaten on by the physical Wisconsin team. He made them pay dearly for their fouls and inability to match up with his size and skill.

Edey was 7-14 from the field, hit 11 of his 14 free throw attempts, and grabbed 14 rebounds. His 25 points led the Boilermakers as they held off the pesky Badgers and finished the 2023-24 season undefeated at home.

Oh, almost forgot. Edey’s #15 was officially retired and put up in the rafters next to the most recent Boilermaker All American, Jaden Ivey, who was part of the recruiting class that brought most of these senior honorees to campus.

The game started and a minute in, Wisconsin’s Chucky Hepburn hit a jumper with 18:59 left.

Senior Lance Jones – who joined this team over last summer after playing at Southern Illinois, then hit two threes from the left wing in 50 seconds, and suddenly, Mackey Arena was rocking with their favorite team up 6-2.

Sophomore Fletcher Loyer scored a quick four points and forced Wisconsin coach Greg Gard shortly after, to call for a break in the action with Purdue up 12-4.

With 9:57 left in the opening stanza, the Boilers led by 12 on an Edey layup. The remainder of the half Purdue held a double figure lead except for one time when it was 7. The home team led by eleven at halftime, 44-33.

Purdue continued to play well in the opening minutes of the second half, then got a little sloppy.

The Badgers put together an 8-1 run after Purdue sophomore Trey Kaufman-Renn scored on a layup with 14:51 left in the game that put the Boilers up 54-43.

Kamari McGee’s layup with 11:54 cut the lead to four and capped that Badger outburst.

With 10:34 left Braden Smith – another sophomore – hit a three. Four different teammates would hit threes down the stretch, and that, mixed in with eight points from Edey, sealed the win for the Boilermakers, now 28-3.

Purdue finishes the B1G regular season at 17-3 and is the number one seed in the B1G Tournament in Minneapolis. Their first game there will be Friday.

In addition to Edey’s day, three other Purdue starters hit double figures. Loyer continues to shoot well and had 15. Jones had 13 points and Smith added ten points and ten assists. Senior Mason Gillis ignited the crowd with his two three-point bombs.

Ethan Morton, Carson Barrett, and Chase Martin – the latter two, sons of former Purdue basketball players – all played.

Wisconsin heads into the conference tournament at 19-11. These two teams met on February 4th in Madison, a 75-69 victory for Purdue. The Badgers have now lost five of their last nine. They were led by John Blackwell with 18. A.J. Stoor and Tyler Wahl had 17 each.



(The following is credit sourced to Purdue University Athletics)

  • No. 3-ranked Purdue defeated Wisconsin 78-70 to improve to 28-3 overall and finish the Big Ten regular season with a 17-3 mark. The win was Purdue’s first season sweep of Wisconsin since the 2015-16 season.
  • The Purdue senior class ended their careers with 59 victories in Big Ten play, tied for the most for any class in Big Ten history (tied with Indiana 1977, 1978).
  • Purdue’s 28 wins are the most in a regular season in school history.
  • The 17 Big Ten wins are the most in school history and tied for the third most in Big Ten history (18 by Indiana in 1975 and 1976).
  • Purdue went 16-0 at Mackey Arena, marking its fourth unbeaten home season (1968-69, 2010-11, 2018-19, 2023-24) in Mackey Arena history. Purdue’s 17-game home winning streak is the sixth-longest streak in the country.
  • With its 10-0 Big Ten home record, Purdue has now recorded the league’s best home record in five of the last eight seasons (2017, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2024).
  • The victory was Purdue’s 10th win of the season against teams ranked in the NCAA NET rankings top 25.
  • The win was Purdue’s 11th quad-1 win of the season and 18th in the first two quads.
  • Purdue will become the first team since Indiana (1975, 1976) to win the Big Ten by at least three games in consecutive seasons.
  • Zach Edey scored 25 points to finish the season by averaging 25.4 points per game in league play. He will likely become the first player to lead the league in scoring, be a Big Ten champion and win Big Ten Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons.
  • Purdue is 32-8 in Big Ten play over the last two seasons. Entering tonight’s game with Iowa, Illinois has the league’s next best record at 24-15.
  • Purdue’s 104 wins since the start of the 2020-21 season are the third most for a class in school history. The Boilermakers are 104-27 (.794) in that span.
  • Purdue went 9-of-18 (.500) from long distance and is now shooting 41.1 percent from long distance on the season. Over the last three games, Purdue is 28-of-54 (.519) from 3-point range.
  • Purdue has won 23 games in a row when shooting 48 percent or better from the field.
  • Edey scored 25 points with 14 rebounds, three assists and three blocks for his 22nd double-double of the season and 61st of his career.
  • Edey moved into seventh place on the school’s single-season scoring list with 749 points.
  • Edey now needs just 41 points to surpass Rick Mount (2,323 points) as the school’s all-time leading scorer, currently with 2,282 points.
  • Edey’s 2,282 career points rank eighth in Big Ten history.
  • Edey moved into third on Purdue’s single-season rebounds list with 364. Edey owns the school record from a year ago (438).
  • Edey joined Navy’s David Robinson as the only players in NCAA history with 2,200 career points, 1,200 career rebounds, 200 career blocks and to shoot at least 60.0 percent from the field.
  • Edey recorded his 37th career 20-10 game, the most by 12 games over the next-closest player in the Big Ten in the last 15 years (Luka Garza – 25).
  • Fletcher Loyer scored 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field, 2-of-2 from 3-point range and 3-of-3 from the free throw line. His 15 points on 100 percent efficiency are the 11th-most points on 100 percent efficiency in school history.
  • Over the last three games, Loyer is averaging 15.3 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game while shooting 16-of-26 (.615) from the field and 8-of-11 (.727) from deep. Purdue is now 25-1 in his career when he dishes out three or more assists.
  • Braden Smith recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 10 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and one steal. His seven games of 10 or more assists are the most in a season in school history.
  • Smith becomes the first Boilermaker since 1990 (Tony Jones) to lead the Big Ten (league games only) in assists per game (7.6 per game). Smith averaged 12.5 points, 7.6 assists and 6.4 rebounds in Big Ten games.

First link is Matt Painter

Second link is Purdue players

SC VD 103 (youtube.com)

SC VD 103 (youtube.com)


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