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Milestone Watch: Purdue Players Closing in on Career Marks

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Purdue could have three different players reach 1,000 career points by the end of the year.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The core of Purdue’s team this year has been together a while and it appears they will stay together for another season after this one. Only Spike Albrecht is definitely gone after this year, as there is at least a small chance Caleb Swanigan returns for another season. That means several players are closing in on some nice career milestones as we approach the end of the season

Caleb Swanigan – Single Season Rebounds Record

The human double-double is, as expected, closing in on the single season record for rebounds at Purdue. The record is 352 held by Joe Barry Carroll in 1979. That season Purdue was 27-8 as it was the NIT runner-up (in an era where only 40 teams made the NCAA Tournament, so the NIT meant more). That gave Joe Barry 35 games to establish the record.

Through 23 games this season Swanigan has 296 rebounds, meaning he needs 57 for the new record. With at minimum 10 games left (which would only put him at 33 to Joe Barry’s 35) he should shatter the record. He is averaging 12.9 per game (most in the nation tied with Angel Delgado of Seton Hall), so he can easily break the record sometime in the next four games.

What’s the national record, you may ask? In 2010-11 Kenneth Faried of Morehead State had an astounding 508 rebounds. Blake Griffin with 504 in 2008-09 is the only other season of 500 rebounds. At most, Purdue can have 16 games left (6 regular season, 4 in the B1G Tournament if it is not a top 4 seed, 6 in the NCAAs.) If Caleb averages 13 rebounds a game (his current average) he could potentially break the single-season NCAA record in the NCAA title game.

I say let’s do it. Anyone opposed?

Caleb Swanigan – 1,000 Career Points

Caleb is also having an excellent season averaging 18.8 points per game, which is second in the conference behind Peter Jok. He has already scored 432 points, which, combined with his 348 from last year, gives him 780 for his career. A decent run in both the Big Ten tournament and NCAA Tournament, say three games in each, would give him 14 more games to get to 1,000. At his season average he would get another 266 points, putting him comfortably over the 1,000 point mark. Even just two games in each tournament (for 12 remaining games) would have him over as long as he hits his average.

As it is, he will likely have one of the top 20 scoring seasons in school history. He should easily get over 600 points, which would only be the 19th such season in Purdue history. The last player to do so was E’Twaun Moore in 2011.

Caleb Swanigan – Average a Double-Double

Caleb is basically averaging a 19 and 13 every night, which is insane. There are hundreds of double-figures scorers across college basketball, but only 23 players are currently averaging double figures in rebounds each night. Swanigan is one of six that plays in one of the major conferences, and the only one in the Big Ten. A Purdue player has averaged a double-double 16 times, but none since Glenn Robinson in 1994. Swanigan will also have the 8th 500 point/300 rebound season in school history (First since Brad Miller in 1998) and could have the 5th 400 point/100 rebound/100 assist season (first since E’Twaun Moore in 2009). He needs 34 assists to join that club.

On the downside, Caleb might obliterate Big Dog’s record of 139 turnovers in 1994. Caleb already has 82.

Vince Edwards – 1,000 Career Points

In the next couple of games we can officially go on Vince 1K watch. After last night’s 15 point performance he is at 957 career points, leaving him 43 short. Our next home game against Rutgers would be a great night for him to become Purdue’s 50th 1,000 point scorer, joining Rapheal Davis from last year as the last one to do it.

Isaac Haas – 1,000 Career Points

Not long after Vince gets to 1,000 points Haas should join him. After scoring 11 last night, Isaac now sits at 905 career points, needing 95 in the final 10 (or more) games to get over the hump. Haas is averaging 13.3 per game, so he should get there before the end of the season pretty easily.

Dakota Mathias – 3-point shooting percentage.

Dakota has already hit 51 threes this season and is shooting a blistering 49.5% from long range. His season would be second in Purdue history behind Jaraan Cornell, who was 50% from long range in the 1997-98. Dakota is 51 of 103 right now, so he is neck-and-neck with Cornell for the record. The minimum qualification is 30 made threes in a season, and Dakota is not the only player on pace for it. Swanigan is 24 of 48 for an even 50%, and would only need to go 6 of 12 the rest of the way to qualify.

Dakota has an outside chance at breaking the record for made threes in a season. Troy Lewis hit 100 during the 1987-88 season, so Dakota would need a very deep tournament run to have a chance.