Notebook: Swanigan’s Own Pace

In our weekly Notebook feature, the national team explores creative and broad topics from the grassroots hoops realm.

Swanigan continues to ponder

One of the more interesting remaining recruitments in the 2015 class is that of Caleb Swanigan (pictured above). The big man from Ft. Wayne (Ind) Homestead recently has begun to show up a bit more at the campuses of schools recruiting him, and he continues to get visits from coaches, but at the end of the day he is not close to a decision.

The word right now is that Swanigan could wait until May-June before making any kind of choice on his future, and at the absolute earliest it seems that the end of his high school season would be the beginning of the timeframe for a choice. In fact at this point, sources close to the situation insist that Swanigan isn't even too far along in the process of determining what his top school or group of schools would be.

How this one turns out will be fascinating and hold significant implications for next season, but one thing is for sure — right now there is no telling who is going to end up with his signature.

— Brian Snow

Brown returns from UNC, sets up another visit

The nation’s top ranked player in the 2015 recruiting class – Jaylen Brown – took an official visit to North Carolina last weekend.

Despite being in town for UNC’s biggest and most exciting win of the year, over Louisville, Brown said the highlight of the trip was learning more about North Carolina’s tradition.

“I would say the tradition,” Brown said. “They have a lot of it. They have a family environment. A lot of people come back and give back to the program.

“That really stood out to me. They are very family oriented. They do everything based around their tradition.”

So to this point, Brown has taken college visits to Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and UCLA. Next up on Brown’s visit schedule is Michigan. He informed Scout on Monday that he would take that visit the weekend of January 24th.

When pressed about a timetable for making his college decision, Brown said it’s still up in the air.

“Not yet,” he said. “Right now I’m focused on the season.”

— Evan Daniels

Bacon’s sizzling senior year

Although Oak Hill Academy dropped its first contest of the season last weekend to Memphis (Tenn.) Hamilton, Dwayne Bacon has been a scoring machine for Steve Smith’s Warriors.

Bacon’s scoring has been surprising, given where he goes to school

The Florida State-bound wing is averaging over 20 points per game and has elevated his play in the new year. Bacon went for 29 points and nine rebounds in the loss to Hamilton and poured in 36 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors as they bounced back on Monday night to defeat Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God.

Bacon’s reputation over the years has been that he’s a strong, capable scorer but one who’s more steady than he is explosive. He performed effectively on the travel circuit but was less likely to have a 40-point night than some of his peers among the national top 20.

And putting up big numbers for Oak Hill is even more impressive because the Warriors always feature a talented team with multiple major conference prospects. Though this year’s squad lacks a true superstar such as Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Durant from the past, Bacon certainly isn’t the only guy who can put the ball in the bucket.

Recently, however, he has been doing just that a torrid clip.

Thornton, Jr. enjoys Kentucky visit

Scout's top-ranked 2016 point guard, 6-foot-2, 165-pound Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep's Derryck Thornton, Jr., spent the last two days in Lexington to check out Kentucky's 86-37 victory over Missouri.

It was an impressive visit, according to Derryck Thornton, Sr.

"Amazing," he said. "From the crowd, to the energy in the gym, to the facilities, amazing. We already had Kentucky pretty high on the list but they definitely didn't hurt themselves."

The five-star prospect spent a good amount of time with John Calipari while on campus.

"He was talking to us a lot," Thornton, Sr. said. "His big thing is first and foremost, he's here for the kids. He said that the hardest job in the world is blending nine All-Americans in for the good of the team.

"He's not saying Derryck will platoon or anything because he said that the idea of having nine All-Americans on the same team again is slim to none, but there are things he'll have to sacrifice for the good of the team if he comes, like all great players do.

"That's fine for us, that's why he went to Findlay Prep, to prepare himself for things like that at the next level."

Up next for Thornton is an unofficial visit to Duke on Feb. 18 to see the Blue Devils play North Carolina, followed by an unofficial visit to Louisville on Mar. 7 to see the Cardinals take on Virginia.

"Those are the only two visits set up," Thornton, Sr. said. "He'll cut his list to five, but probably not until March or April."

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Rob Harrington and Josh Gershon contributed to this report

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