The Dagger

  • Caleb Swanigan's commitment creates a challenge for Matt Painter

    Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger5 days ago

    Purdue will certainly be bigger after landing a McDonald's All-American for the first time in 19 years on Tuesday afternoon.

    Whether the Boilermakers will also be drastically better will depend on Matt Painter's ability to turn a logjam at center into a strength rather than a weakness.

    Five-star prospect Caleb Swanigan is a strong, sure-handed low-post scorer who is most comfortable in the paint on both ends of the floor. He joins a frontcourt that already possesses a pair of centers with similar skill sets — 7 footers A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas.

    For that arrangement to work, Swanigan is probably going to have to spend the majority of his time at power forward.

    The upside will be that Purdue will frequently have two dominant rebounders and low-post threats on the floor, which should create mismatches against smaller opponents who play only one true big man at a time. The downside will be that Swanigan will have to prove on defense that he can stay in front of more nimble Big Ten forwards like Indiana's Troy Williams, Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes and Iowa's Jarrod Uthoff.

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