Caleb Swanigan: Sophomore Sampler

A big man with talent is an athlete with options, and Swanigan is only beginning to assemble his resume.

At 6-8, 265 pounds, Caleb Swanigan can't walk in a room, sit in a chair or definitely order food without drawing attention. The Indiana center actually first emerged on the football field back in 2012. A lineman prospect with clear major-conference ability, he easily could show up at a gridiron practice field and pick up a scholarship.

But as a rising sophomore last year, he showcased his hoops talent as well. I observed him at the Hampton EYBL event last April, playing with the 17s, where he simply overpowered hapless defenders who typically conceded interior space rather than take another massive bump to the midsection.

His progress is advancing at a steady pace and should accelerate from here. He has chosen to focus on basketball and now can dedicate himself to prime conditioning and skill development. He already has cut some bad weight and accordingly has experienced more consistent success on the court, as last year he was prone to fitness problems and inconsistent play.

At his best, Swanigan is a classical low block scoring beast with excellent hands and feet. He obviously can overpower, but he doesn't absolutely have to play that way. He already possesses a spin move and other blossoming scoring options. Once he adds a fully polished drop step and jump hook, he'll command consistent double teams from defenses at the next level. His hands also are sure for tough catches in traffic.

Defensively, he projects as a strong interior defender and primary defensive rebounder. He'll also block some shots, but clearly Swanigan will do his best work on the floor rather than off of it.

Two aspects work against him somewhat long-term: Athleticism and height. Swanigan is a center and always will be, yet he stands only 6-8. Meanwhile, he doesn't possess great lift and long shotblockers who have at least some strength might stifle him in traffic.

Still, not every successful post player in the NBA is 6-10 or taller. And there's obviously a very popular and meaningful level of basketball beneath the NBA, so in college Swanigan could develop into an utterly dominant post scorer.

His recruitment features heavy hitters, as one would expect. He has visited Pittsburgh and Michigan State, and Indiana and Purdue are involved as well, among others.


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