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NCAA 2015

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Sophomore big man Caleb Swanigan dominates inside

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

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After losing Trey Lyles, James Blackmon and Trevon Buiett from last season, there were some questions about how good Spiece Indy Heat would be in this year's EYBL.

One weekend in, though, and they are one of just three unbeaten teams at this point in the season.

“No one talked about Spiece. ‘No one's coming back,'” sophomore big man Caleb Swanigan said. “We're trying to win every game. I didn't come here to prove anything individually; I came here to take my team to Peach Jam.”

The emergence of Michigan State-commit Deyonta Davis has been one of the main reasons for the winning ways, but Swanigan's dominance inside has also been a major catalyst.

His finishing has been inconsistent, shooting just 35.9 percent from the field, but he leads the EYBL in free-throw attempts and rebounding.

“I could have played better,” Swanigan said. “My shot wasn't falling, but I still managed to get to the free-throw line. My team played great. Even when I'm in foul trouble, we still keep leads, we keep playing. And we battle, man. We're undefeated, so it's good teamwork.”

Swanigan, a 6-foot-8 center from Homestead (Ind.), averaged 17.2 points and 11.5 rebounds in four games last weekend in Sacramento. He also dished out 13 assists in four games. It was capped off by a 20-point, 11-rebound, six-assist performance against Nike Team Louisiana on Sunday afternoon.

“I bring rebounding. And I bring leadership,” Swanigan said. “I let the rest take care of itself, as far as scoring.”

He's taking the recruiting process slow, but he said Michigan State, UCLA, Pittsburgh, Auburn, Indiana and Purdue are all in pursuit right now.

Moreover, with assistant coach Kenny Johnson moving from Indiana to Louisville, the Cardinals are going to be on his list. Johnson sat with Rick Pitino and another Louisville assistant during one of Swanigan's games on Sunday.

“It's all been pretty even,” Swanigan said. “They've all been coming out pretty hard lately.”

Swanigan is ranked No. 16 in the 247Sports Composite for the class of 2016.

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