Earlier this week NCAA.com published an article naming Caleb Swanigan as the top choice for the Naismith Award given to college basketball’s top player. That’s just one national award though. There are two, with the Wooden Award (named for Purdue legend John Wooden) also given to the nation’s top player. In 1994 Glenn Robinson took home both for Purdue. Now it is time for Caleb to bring the Wooden back home.
According to NCAA sportsbook TopBet, Swanigan has the third best odds for the 2017 Wooden Award. Only Frank Mason III of Kansas and Josh Hart of Villanova have better odds at the moment. They are putting up solid numbers, but Caleb has been a human double-double. He leads the nation in rebounding and he has 22 double-doubles in 26 games, a school record. After last night’s Rutgers game he has had a double-double in every Big Ten game except one. He had 17 points and “only” 8 rebounds at Iowa.
Swanigan’s play is also improving Purdue’s NCAAB Futures odds. Purdue is now sitting at +2800 as the season winds down. Those odds are tied with Maryland for best in the Big Ten right now.
As we know, Caleb is headed toward a number of individual marks too:
· Caleb needs 166 points down the stretch to reach 1,000 for his career. At his 19 per game average Purdue needs to play at least 9 more games, so it will take a good Big Ten Tournament run and NCAA run to get there.
· He has 337 rebounds on the season, and the school single-season record is 352 by Joe Barry Carroll in 1979. He is going to shatter this record, as he’ll probably go well over 400. The NCAA record is 504 set by Blake Griffin, and it will take a huge run in the Big Ten Tournament and NCAAs to get there. At over 13 per game he’ll need 12 games to get there, and at most Purdue has 14 unless it does not get a double-bye in the B1G Tournament.
· He already has the single-season double-doubles record, as the previous record was 18.
· He will likely be the first Purdue player since Glenn Robinson to average a double-double.
If only Caleb could help with Purdue’s NCAAF Futures odds, which are… not good.