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Caleb Swanigan recruiting: Is it a Cal vs. Purdue battle for the five-star big man?

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Time will tell.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Just a few weeks ago, it felt like Cal would have a pretty good recruiting class. Ivan Rabb had made a historic commitment. The Bears were adding solid pieces like Davon Dillard and Tyson Jolly to the mix. Tyrone Wallace was coming back. It was clear that Cal would probably not have to worry about struggling in the Pac-12 for a second season in a row. Big needs had been filled.

Suddenly, everything seems real, feels real, is real.

Jaylen Brown picked the Bears over the usual college basketball bluebloods, giving Cal TWO top ten national prospects for I'm guessing the first time ever in either major sport. And now Caleb Swanigan seemingly is keeping an open mind after reportedly being 100% to Michigan State only a few days ago, reopening his recruitment.

Obviously with the Swanigan decommit, it's hard to figure out what exactly happened. It sounded like everything was locked up, everyone was happy, and Tom Izzo was starting to dream of his 50th straight Sweet 16 appearance. But something fell apart there, as there were clear signing issues since Swanigan never sent in a final letter of intent.  Now who knows what will happen.

If you want to give a Golden Bear hope, some Cal fans will draw some connections with Brown committing to the Bears a week ago to form essentially the greatest recruiting class in the history of Golden Bear basketball. Remember the rumors of Brown, Rabb, and Swanigan talking about playing together in college a month ago? Perhaps when two of the three came together, the third player started thinking twice about the possibility.

But that's still very much unclear. Purdue sounds very much like a contender, and there have been rumors flying around that the Boilermakers are the team to beat. Purdue is the hometown team. It also feels like Swanigan's guardian Roosevelt Barnes will play an instrumental role in the process.

With regards to need, Cal could very much use Swanigan next season. It would definitely solidify our big rotation between Kingsley Okoroh, Kameron Rooks and Rabb, and suddenly the Bears would have flexibility and depth that they haven't experienced in years.

A lot could depend on what position Caleb wants to play in college--some say he wants to play at the four and stretch out rather than bang down low as a five. That could work depending on whatever funky rotations Cuonzo Martin comes up with.

That being said, we've been down this road with Swanigan before. It sounded very much like he wanted to pick Cal the first time around but he didn't. Has enough changed for Swanigan to do it this time around? Time will tell.

But seriously. Why not Cal?