One of the most-statistically dominant seasons in college basketball history has resulted in winning one of the most-prestigious trophies in sport.
Purdue junior center Zach Edey was named the recipient of the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy in a ceremony today at the Final Four in Houston, presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club and Executive Director Eric Oberman.
Edey becomes the first Canadian to win the Award, named after Canadian native Dr. James Naismith.
“Winning the Naismith Trophy is one of the greatest individual honors that a collegiate basketball player can achieve. Dr. Naismith is a historic figure in Canada, so winning this award is very special to me and all Canadians, and I am proud to represent all of Canada in accepting this award,” Edey said. “It is incredibly humbling to be the first Chinese-heritage player to win this award, and I hope that it opens the door to millions of youth worldwide to learn, play and enjoy the game of basketball. Without my family, coaches, support system and teammates, this achievement would not be possible. I do not take this honor for granted and appreciate the opportunity to continue the excellence set by all previous winners of the Naismith Trophy.”
“Jersey Mike’s is delighted to celebrate Zach on his recognition as the 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Men’s Player of the Year, an honor of which he is more than deserving,” said Jeff Hemschoot, vice president of marketing at Jersey Mike’s. “His dominance and impact on each game he plays is undeniable, and it is an honor to recognize his exceptional achievements this season with this prestigious award.”
The most-dominant player in college basketball during the 2022-23 season has now five of the six major National Player of the Year awards, with the Wooden Award being announced this coming week. Edey has won the Naismith Trophy, The Oscar Robertson Trophy (USBWA), Associated Press (AP) National Player of the Year, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Player of the Year and The Sporting News National Player of the Year. In addition, he has won the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s top center.
He has been named a first-team All-American by every outlet.
Edey becomes the first Boilermaker since Glenn Robinson in 1994 to win National Player of the Year accolades. He is also the fifth Big Ten Player in the last 14 years to be named National Player of the Year joining Evan Turner (2010), Trey Burke (2013), Frank Kaminsky (2015) and Luka Garza (2021) as National Players of the Year.
Edey earned the Naismith Trophy after one of the most-dominating seasons in college basketball history. He was named a consensus first-team All-American, the second straight season that Purdue has had a consensus All-American (Jaden Ivey, 2022), after averaging 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists per game.
He became the first player in NCAA history (since blocks became an official NCAA stat) to record at least 750 points, 400 rebounds, 70 blocks and 50 assists in a season, ranking sixth nationally in scoring, second in rebounds, 19th in blocked shots and 21st in field goal percentage (.607), the only player in the NCAA database to rank in the top 25 of all four categories in the same season.
He finished the season ranking sixth on Purdue’s single-season chart for points (757), first in rebounds (438), fifth in field goals made (290), 14th in field goal percentage (.607), first in dunks (76) and second in double-doubles (27).
He has scored in double-figures in 51 straight games, the longest streak in the country, and fourth-longest streak in school history.
For his career in 99 games, he has 1,533 points, the most for a player through his junior season in school history, with 847 rebounds, 148 blocks and 106 assists.
He finished the year with eight games of at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, the most for a major-college player in the last 20 years, and his 11 games of at least 25 points and 10 rebounds are the most for a Big Ten player in the last 20 years by four games over Luka Garza (Iowa; 7). The 438 rebounds are the fourth most by a player in Big Ten history behind three seasons by Ohio State great Jerry Lucas (1960-62).
Edey became just the second player in Big Ten history to lead the league in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage and is one of just nine players (Blake Griffin, Ike Diogu, Antawn Jamison, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Walton, Lew Alcindor, Gary Bradds) to lead a major-college conference in all three categories in NCAA history. Griffin was the last to do so in 2009.
Edey also earned Big Ten Player of the Year accolades after helping Purdue to a Big Ten regular-season title, a No. 1 national ranking for seven weeks and the Big Ten Tournament title.
Earlier this season, Edey joined an exclusive list of Boilermakers to win the Big Ten Player of the Year honors, joining the late Caleb Swanigan (2017), JaJuan Johnson (2011), Glenn Robinson (1994) and Steve Scheffler (1990) as winners of the league’s top honor.
Edey is the third Boilermaker to receive the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award, joining JaJuan Johnson (2011) and the late Caleb Swanigan (2017) as Purdue recipients. Purdue and Duke are the only institutions to have three Pete Newell Big Man of the Year award winners.
Edey was also named a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award and earned a spot on the Big Ten’s All-Defensive team.