Recruit Profile: Eric Swenson

As with Bronco Mendenhall and the BYU football program, the men's basketball team has a history of successful walk-ons too, Terry Nashif from last year's team being a case in point. One potential Cougar walk-on for the 2005-06 season is Eric Swenson.

For the last four years, Eric Swanson has had a home away form home in the gymnasium at Upper St. Clair High School in the hills south of Pittsburgh, Penn. Swanson averaged around 13.5 points and 4 assists an outing as a senior. He team went 27-3 on the year, won districts and bowed out in the round of 16 in the state tournament. Following the season, Swenson was named first team all-section and first all-Almanac, which covered the southern side of Pittsburgh and its suburbs.

Swenson already has an academic scholarship and will be attending BYU whether he is successful in his walk-on attempt or not.

"All my relatives live in Utah," Swenson said. "It'll be nice to have some family around. I'm going to go to school for my freshman year and then go on my mission. I turn 19 at the end of August, but I'm still going to go for one year before I leave."

Although he won't be able to decide where he serves, he wouldn't mind speaking French for two years. "I speak French fluently already," he said, "But anywhere foreign really. Maybe somewhere like Tahiti or Haiti."

The language Swenson is currently speaking is volleyball. He played volleyball all four years of high school and is involved in a summer league as well. His club will be attending Nationals later this summer. He plays setter and has inquired about BYU volleyball program as well. He is not totally neglecting his basketball skills, however.

When asked to describe his game, Swenson responded: "I think overall, I'm a very fundamentally sound player. I'm a solid ball handler, a solid shooter. I have a pretty high basketball IQ, probably. I'm not the most athletic player out there.

"I need to improve my rebounding and driving to the hole more consistently. This year as the shooting guard I stayed on the perimeter a little more than I could have.

"I can create off the dribble. I'm confident in my quickness and getting by my man, but sometimes I just get in the shooter's mentality and didn't look to take it to the rim."

Like many others, Swenson was excited by the hiring of Dave Rose. He feels that he would be an asset to the aggressive style of play Rose is going to be implementing. His high school ran a full court press and his coaches instilled in him a sense of urgency that helped him hustle all over the court. Swenson said he was one of the better on-the-ball defenders on his team. He also greatly enjoys playing defense.

Swenson has also set some goals for the up-coming year. "Academically, I want to keep my scholarship since it's performance based," he said. "As for basketball, I want to try out and give it my best effort. If it works out that'd be great and if it doesn't then it doesn't."

He did get some good advice from his older brother about keeping his academic scholarship. His brother told him to avoid any class before 9 o'clock "at all costs."

So between school and basketball, Eric Swenson will have his hands full come fall semester.

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