The 2015 McDonald's All-American game has eight uncommitted prospects as we enter Wednesday night's game and one of the players still looking at Duke is big man Caleb Swanigan.
The 6-foot-8, 250-pound native of Fort Wayne, IN spoke to TDD about the week's festivities and how the recruiting process is winding down.
So far, Caleb has been enjoying the atmosphere surrounding the game and having a chance to give back to the community.
"It's been fun. It's great out here playing with everyone and getting a feel for everything. Getting to see the kids at the Ronald McDonald House and knowing how good of a cause this game is [is great]," Swanigan told TDD.
Much has been made of the practices this week at the McDonald's All-American game because of the national recruiting analysts and NBA scouts in attendance during the past few days. Swanigan is just trying to play his own game and continually improve what he's been working on.
"It's just been really competitive and rigorous throughout the whole process, but I think I've played well and found a good flow and rhythm to my game," Swanigan said of the practices. "A lot of things I need to work on, I was working on before I got here. But being here re-iterated to myself that I'm still not where I need to be to dominate at the top level."
As one of the few true back-to-the-basket big men in this group, Swanigan has set a tone with his physical nature in early practices.
"Just doing what I'm good at [is my focus]. I go back-to-the-basket because a lot of people don't play there, so they don't know how to defend it. Plenty of easy baskets there, but it's not the only thing I do," Swanigan said.
In terms of the recruiting process, Swanigan has a final list of schools that he is focused on and he doesn't have any other visits currently lined up.
"I'm still looking at Cal, Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, Purdue, Chicago State and Arizona," Swanigan said.
With there being eight uncommitted players in the game, there has been a lot of lobbying from the committed players in the McDonald's game. Swanigan mentioned that Duke commits Chase Jeter and Luke Kennard have been in his ear about joining them in the ACC next season.
"Everyone just wants to know where each person is going. Chase and Luke are going to Duke. Guys like that are looking at me and trying to get me to go to their school," Swanigan said.
Duke is an attractive option for Swanigan because there will probably be minutes available to front-court players next season.
"They'll be losing Okafor and Marshall [Plumlee] so they need two bigs that can come in and play and pick up those minutes," Swanigan said. "With Coach K, just his track record with players all over the world is great."
While watching college basketball games this season, Swanigan has noticed two schools who use big men in favorable ways.
"I like the way Duke uses Jahlil and I like the way Kentucky uses both of their bigs to switch off ball screens," Swanigan said. "That allows them to get the exposure to show they can guard out there rather than just sitting in the paint."
Swanigan will suit up for the West Team on Wednesday night at the United Center, as he teams with Jeter and another Duke target, Brandon Ingram.
Swanigan Outlines Duke Pitch and Interest
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