WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The season may be over, but Caleb Swanigan continues to rake in the accolades being named 1-of-5 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award given to the nation’s top player, announced on ESPNU Monday evening. His inclusion in the final five makes him a Wooden All-American.
Swanigan is joined by Villanova’s Josh Hart, UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, Kansas’ Frank Mason and Gonzaga Nigel Williams-Goss on the Wooden team.
Already a first-team All-American by The Sporting News, United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Swanigan is a finalist for the Wooden Award, the Naismith Trophy, the Big O Award (Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Award), the Malone Award (nation’s top power forward) and the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award.
Swanigan recorded one of the top statistical seasons in not only Purdue history, but NCAA history, en route to first-team honors. Swanigan averaged 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 52.7 percent from the field, 44.7 percent from 3-point range and 78.1 percent from the free throw line.
He is the only major-college player (and one of two players total) to record 600 points, 400 rebounds and 100 assists in a season (Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon in 2013-14). He joins legendary Tim Duncan of Wake Forest (1996-97 season) as the only players in the last 25 years to average at least 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in a season.
Swanigan is the only player in the last 31 years (since the 1985-86 season) with at least 640 points, 430 rebounds and 100 assists.
His 28 double-doubles are the most for a player in Big Ten history and 13th most for a player in NCAA history, leading the country in that category. He set Purdue’s single-season rebounds record by almost 100 rebounds (436; Joe Barry Carroll is second with 352) and recorded 10 more double-doubles than any player in Purdue history.
The 41st annual presentation of the John R. Wooden Award to the men’s and women’s most outstanding basketball player will be the anchor presentation of the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s on ESPN2 on Friday, April 7, in Los Angeles.