Do you know the name? If yes, kudos... You are aware of one of the better big men in the upcoming NBA Draft. If no, continue reading... You do not want to sleep on Caleb Swanigan.
Swanigan is 6'9" and 250 pounds with a wing span of around 7'4". Yeah, big. Real big. Saying that he is able to overpower anyone down low is an extreme understatement. He goes wherever he wants to go. The guy is also shooting 55% from the field. Yes, it is easier for bigs to maintain higher field goal percentage, but he does not only go down low. Swanigan is also shooting 45% from behind the 3-point line. When is the last time we saw a guy that was 250 pounds move and shoot like a swift, smooth, small forward or shooting guard?
This guy is very versatile. He is offensively talented, as well as defensively gifted. Swanigan is averaging over 18 points and 13 rebounds per game.
Though he is a sophomore, he is still one of the younger players in the draft. He is only 19 years old, making him the same age as most freshmen. So, in my mind, that is a huge plus. Being young but also having a year of experience over most.
Swanigan showed one of the largest leaps of all players, in terms of growth of skill, from last year to this year. This shows that he is able to adapt and improve, which is obviously something a player needs when taking his talents to the next level.
So back to those season statistics. He plays a similar minute allotment to player comps also in this draft, but his stats blow theirs away. Why is it that this guy is projected to go as an early second round pick? Well, that could be for a number of things...
First off, he is a sophomore. Teams, without even looking into it, view that negatively. You are supposed to be good enough to leave after your first year OR stay in school. It is ridiculous that people think those are the only two options.
Next, to go along with that sophomore point. Teams might view his freshman season as a negative. When in reality he was a freshman when many of these guys were still in high school. He is so young. Please, NBA teams, consider this his freshman year. Or you will regret it.
Lastly, I can only assume scouts believe playing at Purdue does not hold as much weight as playing at some large powerhouse. It is no pushover in the college basketball world, but is still by no means a create-an-NBA-player factory.
So, watch this guy play. He is not flashy. He does not try to do to much. Yet he still leads his team to victory. Averaging 18+ and 10+ in college is easy task, yet Swanigan does it easily. This guy should by no means fall out of the top 20, never mind going in the second round. That is ludicrous.
Just watch. Remember the name. Caleb Swanigan will make his mark.
When that happens, remember the call. You heard it here. SLEEPER ALERT.
P.S. here is just one of his many well-played games