'It's starting to get out of control.' Matt Painter lobbies for fouls on Purdue basketball star Zach Edey
ANN ARBOR, Michigan − Zach Edey understands by now what he's in for.
He'll post up and fully expects opposing defenses to result to whatever tactics they can to stop him, or at least irritate him.
Pushing, pulling, hooking.
Even knees to the butt.
He's experienced it all and after Sunday's win over Maryland, Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter had enough, likening Edey to a piñata.
"What's happening is, he's getting away with some small things, but the magnitude of the fouls that are not getting called for him is like three to one," Painter said Tuesday. "If you go back and watch film and you're honest and you don't have your blurred vision through your black and gold and you're just honest and you look at it, we're getting the short end of the stick here."
Sure, there's missed foul calls on Edey and Painter can admit that.
But there's a lot more missed calls on those guarding him.
And the nature of those fouls are getting worse and worse, Painter said.
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Edey has been in foul trouble just once this season and it was Purdue's lone loss on Jan. 2 against Rutgers.
He's averaging just 1.5 fouls per game.
Knowing the importance of his role this season, Edey said he's made it a point of emphasis not to foul.
"Some people say I just don't get called for fouls and I don't believe that," Edey said. "Sometimes I give up a layup. Sometimes I give up a dunk because I feel like I am more useful on the floor than maybe two points or maybe a chance at a blocked shot.
"The one game I got in foul trouble this year, I felt like I kind of let my team down in the Rutgers game in the first half."
Edey also averages 6.8 free throw attempts per game, a pivotal stat in Purdue's success as he's a 74.4 percent shooter from the line.
Those are just the ones getting called, however.
Maryland, like several teams before this season, was extremely physical and used multiple players to enter the game to beat and bang with the Boilermakers' 7-foot-4 center.
"All the egregious chucks, grabs, all those things, they've got to be called and it's got to be called every time," Painter said. "I think the officials don't want to call it every single time because on most scenarios people aren't going to do that, but since he's such a tough cover, that's what keeps happening."
When Yogi Ferrell was Indiana's point guard from 2012-16, Painter was notorious for asking officials to call carries and double dribbles.
The reality was, Ferrell was too good of a ball handler and too quick for Purdue to guard well consistently.
It was a backhanded compliment to Ferrell, Painter said, and now Purdue has a player in the same realm, too difficult for most defenses to stop so they resort to other methods.
"You just want the egregious stuff," Painter said. "Sometimes calls are getting missed on both sides, that's part of it, but not the egregious stuff.
"This can't lead to him getting hurt or somebody else getting hurt. It's starting to get out of control."
Edey, quite honestly, knows the officials have a tough job. And most haven't refereed a player of his size.
He empathizes for them in that regard.
But Edey also knows what a pounding he takes every night and appreciates his head coach, with a bigger platform, going to bat for him.
"He knows how much I get fouled. He knows I get fouled every possession. I think a lot of people know that, but you can't call it every possession," Edey said. "They'll have two hands on my back. They'll have a knee up my butt. Those are just fouls. They put all their body weight on me. That's a foul. I am strong enough I can handle it. They can't call a foul every possession, so it's something I have to just deal with it."
Sam King covers sports for the Journal & Courier. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @samueltking.
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This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Matt Painter lobbies for fouls on Purdue basketball star Zach Edey