Swanigan, Beachem, Blackmon on Naismith Award watch list

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue sophomore Caleb Swanigan was named to the Naismith Award preseason watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.

The Naismith Award is one of college basketball’s highest honor, given to the nation’s top player. Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield won the award a year ago.

Swanigan is 1-of-50 players named and the list will be whittled down to 30 in early February. That list includes Notre Dame’s V.J. Beachem and Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr.

Earlier this offseason, Swanigan was named to the Malone Award watch list (nation’s top power forward) and was voted a preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection.

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.

Purdue opens the 2016-17 season against McNeese State on Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. ET in Mackey Arena.