Purdue's Swanigan decides to test the waters in NBA Draft

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Caleb Swanigan, the Purdue big man who netted Big Ten Player of the Year honors after a sensational sophomore season, announced Wednesday that he'll be testing the NBA Draft process, though he also said he won't yet be hiring an agent, meaning he could still decide to return to the Boilermakers with his remaining NCAA eligibility intact.

Purdue announced Swanigan's intentions Wednesday morning. However, he has declined to hire an agent, indicating that he still could still return to West Lafayette next season.

Caleb Swanigan produced one of the best seasons in Purdue basketball history in 2016-17 while leading the Boilermakers to the Big Ten regular-season championship and a berth in the Sweet 16. Underclassmen in Swanigan's position can declare their intent to enter the draft until April 23. Purdue should have some quality depth returning upfront next season, but nobody near Swanigan's level. As a sophomore at Purdue, he improved every area of his game considerably, led Purdue to a Big Ten championship, played well during the Boilermakers' NCAA Tournament run and has begun to generate first-round assessments, whereas previous year many projections had him going undrafted altogether had he left Purdue. ESPN.com's Chad Ford put Swanigan 24th on a recent ranking of his top 30 draft-bound prospects.

According to GoldandBlack.com, Swanigan averaged better than 18 points and almost 13 rebounds for Purdue this season, and has been named a finalist for every national player-of-the-year award that matters. Shooting 52.7 percent from the field, 44.7 percent from 3-point range and 78.1 percent from the free-throw line, he ranked among the league leaders in those categories, as well.

Swanigan is coming off a season in which he placed third in A.P. Player of the Year voting and was named first-team All-America by the AP and the NABC. He's also a second-team Academic All-American.

"Biggie" may go pro-or he may stay for another year at Purdue.

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