Caleb Swanigan named to Malone Award Watch List

Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan (50) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Howard in West Lafayette, Ind., Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue men’s basketball sophomore Caleb Swanigan was 1-of-20 players named to the watch list for the Karl Malone Award the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today.

A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates, given to the nation’s top power forward. This list will be narrowed down to 10 in mid-February and then five finalists will be selected in March that will be presented to Karl Malone and the selection committee. The winner of this award will be presented at the third annual ESPN College Basketball Awards Show live from The Novo in Los Angeles, California, on Friday, April 7.

This marks the third year for the award, won by Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell in 2015 and Iowa State’s Georges Niang a year ago.

Swanigan averaged 10.2 points per game and led the Big Ten in rebounding in all games played (8.3 RPG) a year ago, en route to earning a spot on the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team. Swanigan set a school record for double-doubles by a freshman (8) and was 1-of-3 freshmen nationally with at least 340 points, 280 rebounds, 60 assists and 20 made 3-pointers. His 8.3 rebounds per game were the sixth most by a Big Ten freshman since the 1993-94 season.

Earlier this month, Swanigan was named a preseason All-Big Ten selection by the media.

Swanigan, Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes are the Big Ten representatives on the Malone Award watch list.

The first chance to see the Boilermakers in action is at Purdue’s annual fan day Saturday, Oct. 22, in Mackey Arena. Fans can receive autographs and get pictures with their favorite Boilermakers beginning at 10:45 a.m. ET, and then are invited to stay and watch Purdue’s first intrasquad scrimmage of the season.

The Boilermakers return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s team that posted a 26-9 record and was ranked in the nation’s top 25 all year long. This year’s team is ranked in the top 20 of nearly all preseason polls.