WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue men’s basketball head coach Matt Painter has announced that Caleb Swanigan (“Biggie”) has signed his Big Ten tender and joins the Purdue recruiting class of 2015. The Fort Wayne native joins fellow in-state commits Ryan Cline (Carmel) and Grant Weatherford (Tipton) for the upcoming season.
Painter also received a commitment from graduate transfer Johnny Hill (Texas-Arlington) and expects Jacquil Taylor to receive a medical redshirt, making him a redshirt freshman in 2015-16.
Swanigan had a sensational high school career at Homestead High School and will strengthen already one of the nation’s best frontcourts. The 6-9, 260-pound power forward becomes Purdue’s first McDonald’s All-American recruit since Mike Robinson in 1996 and the first Indiana Mr. Basketball to play for Purdue since Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson won the award in 1991.
Swanigan is the 11th Indiana Mr. Basketball to play at Purdue, joining Joe Sexson (1952), Wilson Eison (1955), Dennis Brady (1964), Billy Keller (1965), Rick Mount (1966), Kyle Macy (1975), Dan Palombizio (1981), Troy Lewis (1984), Woody Austin (1988) and Robinson.
It also gives Purdue the top two finishers in this year’s Mr. Basketball race, as Cline finished second in the voting behind Swanigan.
“We are very excited about signing Biggie. He gives us a guy that we feel can dominate at this level in a couple of areas,” Painter said. “He is an outstanding rebounder, a great decision-maker and an overall winner. We are going to need him to score in many different fashions for this team. His ability to play alongside either A.J. (Hammons) or Isaac (Haas) gives us a look that very few have in the country.”
Swanigan’s commitment elevates Purdue’s recruiting class to 23rd nationally according to ESPN.com and 28th in the country by Rivals.com.
Purdue will open the 2015-16 season on Friday, Nov. 13, in Mackey Arena against North Carolina A&T as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic. The Boilermakers return eight of their top nine players from last year’s team that reached the NCAA Tournament.
- Perhaps Purdue’s most-decorated recruit in school history, Swanigan was ranked No. 9 in the ESPN Top 100 for the Class of 2015. Was also ranked the third nationally at his position and was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball.
- Ranked the 13th-best player by Scout.com and the 19th-best player in America by Rivals.com.
- Teams with senior A.J. Hammons and sophomore Isaac Haas to form one of the most-intimidating frontcourts in America.
- Became Purdue’s first Indiana Mr. Basketball to play for the Boilermakers since Glenn Robinson won the award in 1991.
- Became Purdue’s first McDonald’s All-American since Mike Robinson in 1996.
- Widely regarded the top rebounder in all of high school basketball during this last season.
- Selected by Bleacher Report to have one of the most-productive seasons by a freshman in college basketball in 2015-16.
- Averaged 22.6 PPG and 13.7 RPG at Homestead High School, leading the Fort Wayne school to its first state title in school history in 2015.
- Was named Gatorade Player of the Year after setting school records in career points (1,649), career rebounds (1,048), single-season points (704) and single-season rebounds (424).
- Ranked second in school history in career blocks (106) and assists (204).
- Helped Team USA to the 2014 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, by averaging 8.0 PPG and 5.7 RPG. Swanigan shot 16-23 (.696) from the field and 24-31 (.774) from the free throw line. Also contributed 11 steals, six assists and four blocked shots.
- Suited up for Team USA in the 2015 Junior National Select Team during the 18th Annual Nike Hoop Summit.
- Will team with Vince Edwards for tryouts for the 2015 U-19 United States National Team. Roughly 30 players from around the country will participate.
- Named to the All-USA Today Indiana Player of the Year.
- Scored 40 points with 19 rebounds in the Semi-State win over South Bend Riley to lead Homestead to the State finals.
- Will compete in the Indiana All-Star series this summer.
- Turned down scholarship offers from Kentucky, Duke, Arizona, Michigan State and California among others.
- Born April 18, 1997.
- Guardian is Roosevelt Barnes, who played football and basketball at Purdue in the late 70s and early 80s. Was a member of Purdue’s Final Four team in 1980.
- Re-classified from 2016 to 2015 and was able to graduate high school in three years.