To this point it has been a formality that Caleb Swanigan will have his name in the rafters of Mackey Arena as one of our all-time greats, but today it became official. A pair of media outlets have already named their All-America teams and Biggie was a First Team All-American according to both of them.
First, we have USA Today, where he joins Lonzo Ball, Frank Mason III, Josh Hart, and Dillon Brooks on the First Team:
Caleb Swanigan, So., F, Purdue: Swanigan has been undoubtedly one of the best players in all of college basketball this season — and he also might be the nation’s most improved player at the same time. Consider this: He’s averaging 8.4 more points, 6.2 more minutes, 4.2 more rebounds and one assist per game more than he did a season ago. He’s shooting significantly better from the field overall, and he has posted 25 double-doubles this season.
But the greatest part of Swanigan’s rise is just how hard he’s had to work for it, and how much the kid nicknamed “Biggie” has overcome in life to get here — all the weight he’s had to lose, and so much instability in his home life growing up — to now shine on the sport’s biggest stage.
NBC Sports had virtually the same team, only with Duke’s Luke Kennard replacing Brooks:
Caleb Swanigan, So., Purdue (18.7 points, 12.8 boards, 2.8 assists)
Swanigan has carried Purdue this season, leading the Boilermakers to a first-place finish in the Big Ten standings and putting them in a position to do some damage in March. He’s posted 25 double-doubles this season. He’s the centerpiece of Purdue’s offense, the guy that the ball runs through on every possession, and he’s able to do it despite the myriad of double-teams that he faces. He’s put up numbers this season that rival that of Tim Duncan, which tells you all you need to know.
So it is official: Caleb Swanigan has achieved Purdue basketball immortality, and these are only the first of many honors coming in.