Zach Edey was one of the biggest matchup problems for Purdue’s opponents during the regular season. The 7-foot-4 freshman came in off the bench for the Boilermakers and saw dramatic improvement in his post-up game, defensive effort and free throw shooting throughout the course of the season.

At times late in the year, Purdue would keep their 7-footer on the floor in late-game situations and he was able to help his seal off victories during a five-game winning streak. But it wasn’t like that from the start for Edey.

Speaking with the media ahead of Purdue’s Round 1 matchup vs. North Texas, head coach Matt Painter says Edey has come a long way since he first arrived in West Lafayette. He’s improved greatly in just about every area of his game.

Edey finished the season averaging 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while appearing in all 27 games at Purdue. He shot 60.5% from the floor and made 71.4% of his attempts from the free throw line.

It was really late in the year when Edey started to blossom, though. He hit double figures in six of Purdue’s final eight games, including a career-high 21 points in a 73-69 win over Wisconsin. The freshman center also finished off the regular season with a 20-point, 9-rebound performance in a 67-58 victory against Indiana.

Purdue is 18-9 entering the NCAA Tournament and will play North Texas on Friday night.