Jordan Wells / TheHoosier.com
IU senior forward Freddie McSwain Jr. is entering his final season season as a Hoosier but in the midst of his first and only full summer with the program.
To make the most of it, he's doing as much as he can to prepare himself for a leadership role in 2017-18.
"My personal goal is to be a senior and be a leader and do what the team needs me to do," McSwain told IUHoosiers.com in a recent Q&A. "I'm working hard to improve my offensive game – shooting, dribbling – and work to be a better all-around player."
McSwain's arrival in Bloomington was delayed until mid-August last year due to summer academic obligations at Neosho County (Kansas) Community College. Like fellow 2016 signee De'Ron Davis, it caused McSwain to miss the entire offseason strength and conditioning program last summer as a result.
The late arrival, coupled with minor surgery in September which was required to repair an old knee injury that flared up, further limited his practice time prior to the start of the 2016-17 season.
Already, he's noticed a difference being able to spend an entire summer on campus.
"It has helped me a lot," McSwain said. "I've been able to stay in shape and get my body right. I've also been able to get to know the entire team better as we get ready for the season."
That improved conditioning should afford him additional opportunities this upcoming season much like it did last season.
Last year, McSwain didn't score in eight of his first 19 games for the Hoosiers, averaging just 7.2 minutes per game. Over the course of his final 12 contests, his playing time rose by 2.1 minutes per game as he scored in 10 of those games.
Additionally, he shot 58.8 percent from the field while averaging 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 10.2 minutes per game over his final nine games.
Now one of the veterans on the team, McSwain and IU's other seniors will also look to bring some of the newcomers along and try to help them achieve the same progress this upcoming.
"We have talked that this is obviously our last year so let's go out with a bang and have fun doing it," he said.
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