Caleb Swanigan Flips to Purdue | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / June 18.
  • Caleb Swanigan Flips to Purdue

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    Caleb Swanigan

    Caleb Swanigan is headed to the Big Ten, but not to Michigan State.

    The 6-foot-8 2015 center from Fort Wayne (IN) Homestead High committed to Purdue on Tuesday after decommitting from Michigan State.

    “He won a state championship in high school, he’s Indiana Mr. Basketball and he felt like with what Purdue has coming back, he would get a chance to possibly win a national championship for the state of Indiana at a school that had never done it before, which is one of the reasons why he chose the high school that he went to,” Roosevelt Barnes, Swanigan’s father, told SNY.tv by phone. “That’s why he chose Purdue and he feels like Matt Painter is a good coach.”

    Swanigan averaged 22.6 points and 13.7 rebounds this past season and was named 2015 Indianapolis Star Mr. Basketball.

    Swanigan can now play alongside 7-2 Isaac Haas and 7-foot A.J. Hammons on one of the biggest front lines  in the nation.

    “Going to Purdue what it allows is for him to be a matchup problem,” Barnes said. “When you have A.J. Hammons and Isaac Hayes, that means Biggs is going to be a matchup problem so it gives him the opportunity to not only do what he does best as far as rebound and be a power player, but it also allows him to show what I think is the strongest part of his game which is his basketball IQ.”

    As for who else was involved, Barnes said, “Kentucky was still in the mix, Michigan State was still in the mix, I got a lot of phonecalls. I had a whole bunch of phonecalls.”

    Barnes said he felt the commitment to Michigan State was premature.

    “I wanted him to wait until around this time anyway because he had reclassified and we needed to take our time,” he said. “But sometimes with social media, kids will react rather than stick to the game-plan and that’s basically what happened.”

    He added: “My plan all along was for him to wait until around this time and get more information and then make a good quality decision.”

    Swanigan won gold last summer with the USA U17 team at the World Championship in Dubai, where he averaged 8.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in seven games, all victories.

    “Caleb will be a perfect Big 10 player – outstanding rebounder with a nose for the ball,” USA U17 coach Don Showalter told SNY.tv when he committed to MSU. “He’s very powerful around the basket and finishes well with either hand. He has developed his midrange game nicely as he can step out to shoot the J!”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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