Earlier today, the 2017 National Ballot for the John R. Wooden Award was released, and it included our own Caleb Swanigan. The ballot is comprised of 15 student-athletes from across the country. From the press release from Purdue Athletics:
Swanigan has had one of the top statistical seasons in not only Purdue history, but in college basketball over the last 25 years. The 6-foot, 9-inch sophomore from Fort Wayne, Indiana, leads the Big Ten (league games only) in scoring (18.9 ppg) and rebounds (12.5) and paces the country in double-doubles with 24, just two shy of the all-time Big Ten record set by Brad Sellers (1985-86) and the great Jerry Lucas (three times; 1959-60, 1960-61, 1961-62). His 24 double-doubles are the most for a Big Ten player in the last 31 years.
In the win over Indiana that clinched a share of Purdue’s 23rd Big Ten regular-season championship, Swanigan recorded his 12th, 20-point, 10-rebound game with a dominating 21-point, 10-rebound, three-assist, three-block effort while drawing 14 fouls against Indiana’s frontline.
Based on a 35-game schedule, Swanigan is on pace to become the first major-college player since at least 1992-93 to have 600 points, 400 rebounds and 100 assists in a season. He is already the first Purdue player to have 500 points and 300 rebounds in a since Brad Miller did so during the 1997-98 campaign and he owns the school record for rebounds in a season with 376, smashing the school record of 352 by Joe Barry Carroll in 1978-79.
Swanigan is also on pace to become the first player since Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan in 1996-97 to average 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He is 1-of-2 players this year (Eastern Washington’s Jacob Wiley) to average 10.0 points and shoot at least 54-45-78 percent from the three levels (FGs-3Ps-FTs).
I should also note that the Wooden Award is sponsored by Wendy’s, and they used to have a “Biggie” size, and Swanigan’s nickname is “Biggie.” Just saying...
Here’s a list of all 15 finalists for the Wooden Award (listed in alphabetical order by last name):
- Lonzo Ball, UCLA
- Dillon Brooks, Oregon
- Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame
- Markelle Fultz, Washington
- Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
- Josh Hart, Villanova
- Josh Jackson, Kansas
- Justin Jackson, North Carolina
- Luke Kennard, Duke
- Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
- Frank Mason III, Kansas
- Malik Monk, Kentucky
- Johnathan Motley, Baylor
- Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
- Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga
Keep up the great work, Biggie.