On Wednesday morning, Caleb Swanigan made his decision on the Popular Nobodies podcast, announcing that he would be declaring for the 2017 NBA Draft. However, he has declined to hire an agent, indicating that he still could still return to West Lafayette next season.
Since Swanigan arrived on campus, Purdue has been one of the Big Ten’s most consistent programs. The Boilermakers won 26 or more games in each of the last two seasons, culminating in a Big Ten regular season title and a trip to the Sweet 16 this season. Purdue also went 2-1 against Indiana in that stretch.
As a recruit, Swanigan arrived on campus with more than a fair share of hype. He was rated as a five-star prospect by 247Sports and was hailed by many as the program’s next great superstar. He also had one of the nation’s most dramatic recruitments, flipping from a commitment to Michigan State.
Swanigan has been dominant for Purdue over the last two seasons. He has played in a total of 69 games and was particularly impressive this last season, averaging 32.5 minutes, 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game on his way to Big Ten Player of the Year and All-Big Ten honors.
Obviously, while this was expected, Swanigan’s final decision will have massive ramifications on Purdue’s hopes for next season. Purdue should have some quality depth returning upfront next season, but nobody near Swanigan’s level. After all, he was the league’s best player for the duration of last season.
It’s been quite a ride for “Biggie” since arriving on campus and now, fans will have to wait to see whether he opts to leave or come back for one more year.