Caleb Swanigan goes into draft night with legitimate first-round hopes

- -, GoldandBlack.com staff
Gold and Black
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Tonight, Purdue All-American Caleb Swanigan finds out where his surreal basketball story takes him next.

Swanigan, who departed Purdue after two seasons, will be selected in tonight's NBA draft. That much appears certain.

It's just a matter of when and to who.

Swanigan, who have gone undrafted had he entered the draft last season, seems to be a legitimate first-round possibility this year.

A look at some of the forecasts for Swanigan heading into what's considered an uncommonly loaded draft.

CALEB SWANIGAN'S WEB-SITE PROJECTIONS

Site

Round

Pick

Team

CBS Sports

1

24

Utah Jazz

Fox Sports

1

28

Los Angeles Lakers

USA Today

Outside first round

Sporting News

Outside first round

Draft Express

2

32

Phoenix Suns

NBA.com

2

32

Phoenix Suns

As a sophomore at Purdue, the power forward/center averaged 18-and-a-half points and 12-and-a-half rebounds and led the Boilermakers to a Big Ten regular season title and a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

For his efforts, he was named Big Ten Player-of-the-Year and a finalist for every national player-of-the-year award there is.

He was one of the best players in the country, but also one of the most improved, a selling point Swanigan has hoped to communicate to prospective NBA employers in the lead-up to tonight's proceedings.

The big man's work ethic has been stuff of legend around Purdue and served as the driving force behind his transformation from obese and directionless teen to his current identity.

"I think I've shown more than anyone that if there's something I can't do, I'm going to get there," he told ESPN. "Any potential you think I have, I'm going to reach my ceiling. There won't be a question of, 'Will he come in and (remain) the same person he was when we drafted him?' because I'm going to be better every year."

Should Swanigan land in the first round, he'd be Purdue's first first-rounder since JaJuan Johnson went 27th in 2011. Carl Landry just missed, as he was picked 31st in '07.

Swanigan is likely to be the sixth Purdue player drafted during Matt Painter's tenure as head coach.

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