Before Wednesday's deadline it was made official that Caleb Swanigan would return to Purdue for the 2016-17 season. Though this decision was sort of in the air, it comes as great news for a Boilermakers team looking to expand on their 26-9 season.
Caleb Swanigan said in a text: "I'm going back to school. I feel I'm only a 2nd round pick and I can do better than that. I love Purdue.''— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) May 25, 2016
He became the second Purdue player within the past couple of days to withdraw their name from NBA Draft consideration, as fellow teammate Vincent Edwards also made the same decision to return to school.
In an earlier release it stated, "We are excited that Biggie has withdrawn from the NBA Draft and will return to Purdue," head coach Matt Painter said. "He has the potential to make a huge jump from his freshman season and will be a big part of what we do next year. He received great experience going through this process and will use the feedback he received to make him a more diverse player."
At 6 foot 9, 250 pounds he has a very expansive game for his position and proved to be a match-up nightmare for a majority of frontcourts in the Big Ten.
As a top 10 2015 ESPN 100 recruit, the guy known as "Biggie" came into the season under high expectations as a true freshman and exceeded them by enjoying a successful season; averaging 10.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He broke multiple Purdue freshman season records in the process, now leading in rebounds per game (8.3), games started (34) and double-doubles (8). For this production he was also named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
With the new NCAA rules on players ability to test the NBA Draft waters and return to school if they choose not to declare for the draft, he now knows the NBA is there and is in no rush to force the issue.
In an earlier release he stated, "The NBA is right there and always will be, but you always have to have patience and do what's best for you," Swanigan said earlier this week.
Well it looks like he's going to be patient and do what's best for him which comes as great news for the Purdue coaching staff being able to have him back in their uniform for at least another season.
With the departure of senior A.J. Hammons, everybody's roles will undoubtedly increase and the versatile forward is poised to inherit a much larger role ahead. It's difficult to follow up an outstanding year like he endured, but most pundits including expect his sophomore campaign to be just as impressive or more improved then his freshman season.
Though he had a successful season he's definitely not a finished product yet and has a lot of room to grow. His decision on returning to school echoes that statement and allows him the opportunity to improve his all-around game while also, in the process, building his draft stock higher.
The Purdue coaches, players and fan-base must be ecstatic about his return because Swanigan's presence gives them a more realistic chance on repeating their accomplishments from this past season.