Swanigan motivated after LeBron James Skills Academy

  • 07/14/2014 11:04 am in

LAS VEGAS — Caleb Swanigan is not satisfied.

Playing at the LeBron James Skills Academy this past week more than a thousand miles from his Fort Wayne home, the 6-foot-8 big man has measured himself against some of the elite players of the 2015 class.

And though he is rated the No. 17 prospect in the class he recently reclassified to (from 2016), Swanigan found himself not fulfilled during his final day in Las Vegas.

“I’ve got to keep working on what I’ve been working on,” he told Inside the Hall on Saturday. “It’s not at the level it needs to be. Like my athleticism and stuff, there’s still a lot of improvement. I’ve improved a lot, but it’s still not there.”

What Swanigan had, however, was hunger. Eager to get his looks of the top players not only in high school, but the college and professional ranks, too, he wanted to specifically learn what he could do to get better.

He was able to do just that.

“When you compete against the best players you only can get better,” Swanigan said. “You know where you are and where you need to take your game to get at that level and dominate.

“It’s a day-to-day fight against guys. You’ve got to win your spot, even if you’re contracted and make a lot of money, you’ve got to win your spot every day.”

Swanigan said he hopes to carry those lessons he has learned into the remainder of the summer — and beyond. Up next for the talented big man is this week’s Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina, where he’ll look to lead Spiece Indy Heat to a title in Nike’s premier summer event. In the EYBL regular season, Swanigan averaged 18.5 points and a league leading 12.1 rebounds per game.

With college a year closer, Swanigan’s recruitment has intensified as of recently. The five-star Homestead recruit, who has been linked frequently to Michigan State, noted that Pittsburgh, California, Duke, Arizona, UCLA and Purdue are after him the hardest at the moment, though he is not close to making a decision.

He isn’t planning on making any decisions on official visits until August or after summer, either.

According to Swanigan, Indiana has “mellowed” its recruitment of him. While he said he heard from Indiana a lot, early on, “as of recently, I haven’t heard too much.”

The possibility of playing for the Hoosiers, though, is something that does intrigue Swanigan.

“It’s right there at home,” he said. “And Bloomington is a great atmosphere playing there. I’m real close with James (Blackmon Jr.) and I just know they have a good program there.”

Regardless of where he ends up, though, Swanigan said he is honored to receive this much college interest.

But he has learned. He said there is no point in becoming content.

“It means a lot just knowing that the hard work is paying off and stuff. But once you know you’re going to college you’ve got to prepare for it.

“It doesn’t stop.”

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  • SCHoosier

    If this kid is now a 2015 target..that means Swanigan, Davis ..Morgan, Blackwell..and the often mentioned “5 position guys” (Maker-Zimmerman etc) are going to be one hell of a group to compete for. Hell they can’t ALL go to UK!!. Glad I don’t have to do that recruiting and scholarship manipulation for a living!):

  • Dennis

    Something seems to be odd here in the “Indiana has ‘mellowed’ its recruitment of him” when he seems to be a must/top target being his talent level, having such a desire to improve, and being a Hoosier. Does anyone know why we have mellowed on him? We should not let this guy go elsewhere! Come on CTC and staff – let him hear from IU more!

  • 323SGrant

    On paper, he appears to be just what we need. A big guy with skills who would be a great complement to our shooters, but I’m no insider and don’t know why IU has cooled on him.

  • IUBizmark

    I have to believe if there was a good fit and legit interest IU would be all over this kid. I’d say IU gave it their best shot and Caleb was still a heavy MSU lean, so CTC decided it’d be best to exert effort elsewhere.

  • IUMIKE1

    According to Swanigan, Indiana has “mellowed” its recruitment of him. While he said he heard from Indiana a lot, early on, “as of recently, I haven’t heard too much.” ?????????????????????

    Seems like a very good fit for us, would love to know the reasoning behind our staff ” mellowing ” on him. Starting to look a lot like how Mitch McGary’s recruitment went. I’m sure CTC knows and hears a lot more than we do about where a kid is really at as far as where they will end up at. He may have heard enough to feel like they would simply be spinning their wheels to put the maximum amount of time into recruiting him and that that time would be better spent with someone that was truly still open to where they wanted to go.

  • Gregory Spera

    Obviously disappointed to read that Crean has backed off the number one ranked player in the state of Indiana, especially considering he is at a position of need for the Hoosiers. When it comes to recruiting, I have always given Crean the benefit of the doubt, but still… We’ll just have to wait to see where we are at this time next year. If Crean can’t land a five star big for 2015 with everything this program has to offer, that would be crushing.

  • Alford Bailey

    Won’t this kid be such a nice fit with Izzo and co ? My hope now is we only have to face him one year then he moves on to the NBA.

  • SCHoosier

    I thought all of the rating services had him nearly signed sealed and delivered to MSU? I guess with our limited availabilities next year..the staff will really have to prioritize..at its own risk.

  • Gregory Spera

    No doubt. I know Crean recruits nationally (and successfully), but it’s been tough watching MI, MSU, and OSU winning with so many Indiana blue chips these past several years.

  • IUBizmark

    Crushing is the appropriate term as there are few conceivable reasons for a solid PF/C not to choose IU for 2015. We have the shooting, we have arguably the top PG, we have a great program, national exposure, solid player development, etc.
    So, this begs the question; why aren’t we a current priority for any of the top big men in 2015???? Would love to get everyone’s thoughts on that.

  • Alford Bailey

    Maybe some day IU will be in a position again to land kids like Swanigan. First time I saw Swanigans size, skill level and from Ft. Wayne I immediately thought MSU.

  • Caleb Moore

    Unless his grades are iffy, the only thing I can think of is that the staff thinks they are in solid with some other targets that fit our system better. He’s a big kid, not going to run the floor like we want to see our bigs do. Just compare him to Morgan and Spalding, etc. Those guys get up and down the court. Swani is a true post big. He mentions MSU but you see he doesnt mention Michigan……I think the teams that like to run/shoot/fast paced are scared off by his weight, relatively small length, and being a player that needs the ball to be effective offensively.
    And again, in Indiana’s case, maybe they are saying why spend the huge amount of recruiting resources necessary to land this kid when we already have 3-4 other very good bigs we are in better shape with and fit our system better.

  • Alford Bailey

    “Development” of “bigs” under Crean has been blown way out of proportion and top recruits and their hangers on know this. CZ benefited from a weak draft and NV coulda went anywhere and still been top 10 lottery. Don’t let all the hype on here fool ya. If IU was such a spring board for bigs to the NBA lottery our roster would show it right now. Creans system favors guards/forwards. I will say I do give Crean credit for development VO.

  • Alford Bailey

    Agree, I think CTC is all in on Spaulding right now who probably fits the system better.

  • Dennis

    Very good possible explanation. Thanks

  • Dennis

    Another very good explanation. Thanks also.

  • Bryce Kepner

    IU is defniitely in position to land kids like Swanigan, we have here recently and always will. The thing is, he isn’t athletic enough for the system

  • Bryce Kepner

    He simply doesn’t fit the system in comparison with other 2015 bigs

  • IUMIKE1

    The more I hear and read that seems to be the case. Concentrating on other more viable recruits is probably the best path to follow I’d say.

  • marcusgresham

    No kidding. That keloid scar on his shoulder is bigger than some of the kids we’re recruiting!

  • Hoosier1158

    You don’t win in the B1G with 4 guards and a forward, ask Mike. This is the kind of kid you figure out how to make him work in your system.

  • NateMH

    I don’t get why born & bred Hoosiers want to go play for that lil fella Izzo, he is always whining & crying on the sideline. Plus East Lansing has to be miserably cold in the winter. This is Indiana where basketball is king 365 days a year! In the article it seems like he is expressing interest in the program & playing with Blackmon.

  • mharv2631

    Screw the “system”. A good coach, will adjust to his personnel. You mean to tell me if Kareem was out there we wouldn’t want him cause he wouldn’t fit our system. Kareem wasn’t the fastest center out there, but Wooden won with him, and without him or Walton. If this kid can rebound, and defend (he definitely will take up space) why wouldn’t you want that in the BIG? Recruit the best of Indiana, and you will always have a good team.

  • HoosierGrampy

    If you would pay a little closer attention to the crowds @ the Breslin Center–especially those sitting in the IZZOne–and the facts that MSU knows how to CONSISTENTLY compete and win at a level IU only flirts with now and then, that Izzo CONSISTENTLY recruits with the best coaches in D1 ball, that Izzo is an excellent in-game adjuster and much better than average X’s & O’s coach, that he generally takes responsibility for tough losses and that he adjusts his “system” around the talents of his players, you might have a clue why Michigan State attracts born & bred Hoosiers. High school ball may still be the 24/7/365 King of sports in Indiana, but IU is still a couple seasons away from returning to relevancy as a national power on the hardwood. We’re NOT QUITE Back, yet.

  • EdgarAllenPoor

    What would MSU do with players from the State of Indiana?

  • Hoosier1158

    I hear ya!

  • Hoosier1158

    The fans are not better in East Lansing, but unfortunately the coaching is.

  • Hoosier1158

    It wouldn’t hurt to still be recruiting Caleb. What if CTC doesn’t get Spaulding?

  • Bryce Kepner

    I’m just saying if you compare him to the other centers we are recruiting for 2015, you’d see why we have “mellowed” on him. Everyone knows he’s been strong on Michigan St since the beginning. I wouldn’t want someone who just “takes up space” either.

  • HoosierGrampy

    I never said nor implied that the fans are better in East Lansing. I was merely citing a few reasons why Indiana ballers might look to the North.

  • mharv2631

    The “take up space” quote was a little pun there Bryce.

  • Displaced Hoosier

    Win some games. Ever heard of Zach Randolph? Gary Harris?

  • OhioHoosier

    Then it would be a moot point.

  • Bryce Kepner

    I followed

  • marcusgresham

    I think he had a typo. Looks like he meant “without,” not “with.”

  • Hoosier1158

    Seems like CTC made the comment he was going to lock down the borders of the state when it comes to recruiting. The state line is not 25 miles north of Indy.

  • EdgarAllenPoor

    No I haven’t. Are they displaced hoosier basketball players!