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Player Review: Caleb “Biggie” Swanigan

Our best player gets the best grade.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Purdue vs Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Caleb Swanigan

Class: Sophomore

Grade: A+++++++

Stats: 18.5 Ppg, 12.5 Rpg, 3 Apg, 44% 3-pt

Caleb Swanigan was everything we ever dreamed of and more.

B1G Ten player of the year, consensus first team All-American, Naismith Trophy finalist, Wooden Award finalist, First team all district, B1G Ten player of the week (a million times).

Caleb Swanigan was arguably the most improved player in the nation as well. He improved from 10 points per game to 18, from 8 rebounds per game to 12. If there was a most improved player in the nation, he could have won it, to go along with being one of the best players in the nation this season.

Swanigan was the force that drove of us to the Sweet 16. He allowed us to play big effectively with Isaac Haas, unlike we were able to do last season with AJ Hammons. But he allowed us to stretch the court as well, something we couldn’t do in years past. But for the majority for the season, Caleb Swanigan was forced into the “5” role for our team, allowing Vincent Edwards to play the “4”.

It was a type of offense we hadn’t seen in West Lafayette since the Baby Boilers, where all five starters could shoot.

Caleb Swanigan coming to Purdue was huge. He changed the culture, he changed how underclassmen work, he brought the Purdue mentality, back to Purdue. Biggie was a workhorse.

Ya, he is riding the bike while press was in the locker room during the tournament. That was his work ethic, the bike and stairmaster machines were his best friends.

Caleb Swanigan meant more to Purdue than words can describe.

But the question is, will he stay or will he go? He has declared for the NBA draft, but did not hire an agent.

Some projections have him as a late first round to middle second round pick. My gut says he leaves and goes super late first round. A team like the Spurs would be perfect for him.

But, what if, he goes to the combine and the scouts tell him he needs another year? A year where the 2018 draft isn’t nearly as deep as this 2017 draft. He could be a lottery pick. Frank Kaminsky did that, he was projected late first and came back. He then played himself into the top 10 of the NBA draft. Amazing.

If Biggie did do that, he could hypothetically do the exact same thing. My stomach just tells me that he isn’t coming back. I hope that he does though. The NBA is tricky, for starters, the IU kid, O.G. Anunoby, with a torn up knee, will be a top 15 pick. The word potential ticks me off. When something as guaranteed as Caleb Swanigan is there for you in the lottery.

Biggie can do what he wants, but if he goes to the NBA, I would love to see him land with a team that already are in the playoffs. If he comes back, we will welcome him with open arms.

I will root him on wherever he ends up.

Thanks for everything, Biggie. Boiler Up!