As Caleb Swanigan watch continues, let's get away from scholarship math and get into the Xs and Os.
One thing a lot of people have been missing out on Caleb Swanigan's official decision is where he wants to play on the floor in college. Does he want to stretch the floor and play as a power forward or is he okay with heading into the post and banging with the monsters in the paint? There have been whispers that Swanigan would prefer playing from the outside moving in, and that could end up having a huge impact on his final decision.
Purdue (the favorites) appear to be operating under that assumption. If Swanigan were to go to Purdue, he'd ideally be their starting power forward. It's not clear yet where he'd fit in the Cal lineup quite yet as either the starting center or power forward.
It's hard to say which role Swanigan would fit into better. While he would be a little bit shorter than most conventional seven-footers at 6-8, he is also a sizable (but agile) 265 pounds and has the body to bang down low. Compare him to a true stretch power forward like Ivan Rabb, who at 6-11, 210 pounds is technically taller but more likely to stretch the floor with his more consistent outside jump shot. However, Swanigan can definitely score from the outside too, and it sounds like he'd want to operate as a four as much as a five.
If Swanigan came to Cal, one of either Rabb or Swanigan would have to start out of position. Both are power forwards. One will need to play center in the Cal starting lineup.
The question for Cal is how Cuonzo Martin sells Swanigan on being one of the two bigs on the team, particularly since one figures to be very important in the future. Martin would have to figure out how to space both Rabb and Swanigan if he could earn the commitment of the latter. Both Rabb and Swanigan have proven that they can hit outside shots, so they are both ideal to space the floor while the guards drive, penetrate, and attack the rim.
Still, Swanigan is probably the stronger of the two, so he'd be a huge force attacking the boards and making things happen the paint. It would be ideal if Martin could convince him to spend some time in the box when both him and Rabb are on the floor, or at the very least split responsibilities if Cal. Rabb can bang as well but it makes more sense for the stronger low post presence to get near the rim. Then you can play Kingsley Okoroh and/or Kameron Rooks with Swanigan when Rabb goes to the bench and give Cal a lot of space.
Hoop heads, from looking at both Rabb's and Swanigan's tape, how would you balance the big rotation with Okoroh and Rooks if Swanigan were to commit to Cal?