That’s A Wrap: Freddie McSwain

  • 04/12/2017 7:33 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2016-2017 Indiana Hoosiers. Up next: Freddie McSwain. (Previously: Devonte Green, De’Ron Davis, Grant GelonCurtis Jones, Juwan Morgan, Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby)

McSwain (31 games): 2.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 55% FG, 62.5% FT in 8.1 minutes per game

A junior college transfer from Hinesville, Georgia, Freddie McSwain didn’t play organized basketball until he was a junior in high school. Four years later, McSwain found himself earning consistent minutes for the Hoosiers.

Coming off knee surgery early last fall, McSwain’s role increased as his health improved, and so did his play.

McSwain was scoreless in eight of his first 19 games and had difficulty cracking the rotation. The struggles continued into conference play, where he didn’t hit a field goal until the Jan. 18 contest at Penn State.

But when the Big Ten schedule neared its conclusion, McSwain began to find his rhythm. Over the last seven games of the regular season, McSwain shot 71 percent from the floor (12-of-17) and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds.

Tom Crean compared McSwain to an NFL tight end, and with the way he threw down alley-oops this past season, it wasn’t hard to see why.

The upward trend continued in postseason play. In the blowout win over Iowa, McSwain threw down back-to-back dunks. In the NIT loss at Georgia Tech, McSwain was one of the lone bright spots, scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds in a career-high 19 minutes.

The vast majority of McSwain’s work was done in the paint. Of his 32 made field goals on the season, 31 were either dunks (9) or lay-ups (22, of which 4 were tip-ins).

He finished the season with the best offensive and defensive rebounding percentages on the team (17.1 and 18.3 percent of possessions respectively, per KenPom), but was near the bottom in turnover rate (26.3 percent) and assist percentage (2.8 percent).

Foul trouble often prevented McSwain from receiving more minutes. In conference play, McSwain committed one foul every 4.4 minutes. On Feb. 12 vs. Michigan, McSwain fouled out after logging just eight minutes.

Bottom Line: McSwain’s athleticism and ability to snag offensive rebounds are his two best assets, which is why he’s at his best when he’s working in the paint. A full offseason with Indiana should allow McSwain to fully heal and improve his offensive skill set. With just one year of eligibility left, it will be interesting to see how Archie Miller will use him. If remains in the rotation, he’ll be relied on to be a workhorse inside.

Quotable: “I don’t know if there were ever any days where we would go to the gym and not see him in there, shooting, dribbling, working around the basket, and then he just started dunking everything. Everybody around here kind of saw the transformation of Freddie,” – David Linderman, McSwain’s AAU coach, to the Indy Star in May 2016.

Filed to:

  • VOXAC30

    His arms are almost as big as mine. I do not know FM but he seems like the nicest kid.

  • BL4IU

    Still very young in his b-ball life and appears to be a great teammate. Could make a big jump this offseason and be a very valuable asset in Archie’s first season. Pulling big time for Freddie.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    not particularly skilled, but plays hard and got much better as the season went along. certainly room on this team for a player like FMcS

  • Arch Puddington

    In the long run we’ll need to get some elite talent if we want to compete for national championships. But every team needs guys like this — high character, hard-working role players who provide worthy competition in practice and valuable minutes off the bench in games. Seems like yet another guy who fits our new coach quite well.

  • Shaggy_C

    JuCo transfers are always a bit of a mixed bag, but he was certainly a pleasant surprise this year. I’m just glad we get him back for a senior season so we can see his development continue. He may well be a sleeper candidate for 6th man depending on how the draft decisions pan out.

  • Larry Brown

    Everytime I see him I wonder why he did not go into football. I don’t mean that as a criticism, but with his size and strength and athleticism he would be unbelievable tight end. And it just seems to me that it is easier to become a really good football player in a few years than it is to become a basketball player in a few years, and that’s all he had to work with

  • BL4IU

    40 time?

  • BL4IU

    Agree on the need for “elite talent” and junk-yard dogs ?

  • Donnie Vick

    If Bryant for someone reason decides to leave, Freddie is going to be a really important piece.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    i think he did learn as the season went along that bad things happened when he put the ball on the floor. just ain’t his game. crash the boards and play tough D, that’s how he’ll add value. and you’re 100% right, CM gotta go after the big fish. i think he’ll reel in a few.

  • Koko

    I don’t think we saw all of what Freddie is capable of on the court. I didn’t know his knee was as much a problem as it appears. Anyway glad to have him and I look forward to watching him contribute.

  • iugradmark

    I really like Freddie and only wish that he could have played for Archie for several years. His game shows that he is late to basketball and lacks some of the instincts that come with playing the game for years. I think he could be a really important defender / stopper if he can grasp the defensive principles that will be brought in this year. Seems like a really great kid.

  • IdahoHoosier

    This is an important guy to have on your team if there was ever a brawl. Dang he is buff!

  • marcusgresham

    If I was built like this dude I’d just stroll around in a Speedo.

  • Zora Clevenger

    In a physical league like the B10, it’s always good to have a guy who’s strong and who’s gonna use all 5 of his fouls. If an opposing player has to face 15-20 minutes of Freddie pounding on them, it’ll wear them down and get into their bench.

  • Piker

    FM is probably AM s kind of player. Can’t wait to see some of those OR put backs….or should I say slam backs. Depending on players will decide his minutes but AM may find his defense and rebounding put him on the floor alot anyway. Love his energy off the bench.

  • John D Murphy

    If we have a lot of picks in the offense this year he might send some opposing team’s guard to the ER.

  • Deplorable Highwayman

    Elite talent like South Carolina or Gonzaga? What IU needs is less guys “testing the NBA” and more who want to play at Indiana and understand how to play defense.

  • Deplorable Highwayman

    Crean never could figure out how to play his guys. Bryant out shooting the three, McSwain dribbling around on the wing….Blackmon and Johnson getting destroyed by a basic pick and roll. It’ll be nice to see what a basketball coach can do with this group.

  • TomJameson

    Crean figured out a way to play his guys well enough to have, consistently, a top ranked offense. Now defense is a different matter, but you can’t really argue with a top 15 offense.

    Think of how highly rated their adjusted offensive efficiency would have been if turnovers could have be reigned in a bit.

  • Indiana_Banners

    Yeah like Zach Collins… oh wait…

  • Outoftheloop

    “McFly” (I love that name), loves to work, loves contact, and needs to work on skills (shooting, dribbling, passing, etc.), and basketball IQ. But I love his energy, grit and hustle! He could be a real surprise next season!

  • Outoftheloop

    So he follows the all NFL TE Gates from college basketball to professional football! The footwork and body positioning is the key from basketball, his strength and athleticism is unquestionable!