With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ve transitioned from our look at other Big Ten programs to our player-by-player previews of the 2017-18 Indiana roster. Today, our profiles continue with a look at Freddie McSwain.
One of five seniors on Archie Miller’s first IU roster, Freddie McSwain is ready for one final go-round in Bloomington.
McSwain appeared in 31 games as a junior, averaging 2.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 8.1 minutes per game.
It took the 6-foot-6 forward a few months to acclimate himself to the Division I game, but by the end of the season, McSwain became a valued contributor. Of the 84 points McSwain scored last season, 43 came in February or March.
The forward also turned the ball over considerably less as the season went on. After committing 23 turnovers in his first 27 appearances, McSwain didn’t turn the ball over at all in the 43 minutes he played over the final four games of the season.
“(I) just got confident at the end of the season,” McSwain said at IU media day. “The game slowed down at the end of the season, and I just believed in myself, and I knew I could play this game at this next level.”
The Hinesville, Georgia native proved himself to be, percentage wise, the best rebounder on last year’s squad, grabbing a team-high 17.1 percent of available boards on the offensive end and 18.3 percent on the defensive end when he was on the floor (per KenPom).
McSwain appears to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the arrival of Clif Marshall, the new director of athletic performance. Already one of the strongest players on the squad, McSwain set the program’s all-time bench press record over the summer with 30 reps.
McSwain’s jumper is still a work in progress, but has shown signs of improvement. He missed all three of his field goal attempts from three last year but has been shooting the triple with confidence in warm-ups. McSwain was considerably better inside the three-point arc as a junior, making 58 percent of his 55 two-point field goal attempts. In conference play, that number shot up to 61 percent.
In the exhibition against Marian, McSwain played 13 minutes, finishing with four points, four rebounds and two blocks while picking up two fouls.
Bottom line: McSwain will be one of the first bigs off the bench for the Hoosiers, and will rely on his strength inside to cause matchup problems. McSwain’s rebounding ability will be vital, and it will be incumbent upon him to stay out of foul trouble.
Quotable: “Just focusing on the same things I was focusing on last year. Doing what the team needs me to do. Be a defensive stopper, a great rebounder, just try to make plays in the post. Being an all-around player. Doing whatever the team needs me to do,” McSwain at media availability before the Marian exhibition.