Illinois Basketball: 5 players the Illini could struggle against in 2017-18

Mar 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the basketballs on the ball racks before the start of the McDonalds All-American Powerade Jamfest at the Chicago Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the basketballs on the ball racks before the start of the McDonalds All-American Powerade Jamfest at the Chicago Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 23, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Purdue Boilermakers forward Caleb Swanigan (50) shoots during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks in the semifinals of the midwest Regional of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Purdue Boilermakers forward Caleb Swanigan (50) shoots during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks in the semifinals of the midwest Regional of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Caleb Swanigan – Purdue Boilermakers

There is still a question whether Caleb Swanigan comes back to college or stays in the NBA Draft. By the time we figure out what he is doing, I am sure someone will let me know he is staying in the draft.

But, for now, this is based off my opinion about what Swanigan should do with his career. He needs to come back and spend one more year in college if he wants to be drafted higher.

Swanigan is arguably the best player in the Big Ten. He has all the tools to be a great NBA player, and he will be eventually. Last season he also tore apart Illinois in a 91-68 rout. This was an embarrassing game for the Illini.

In the game Purdue demolished the Illini, Swanigan dropped 22 points and 10 rebounds. He also shot 46.7-percent from the field and was 7-of-7 from the free throw line. His presence against the Illini was known. He did this to the entire country, though.

Swanigan averaged 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game as a sophomore last season. He will improve those numbers next year if he returns to the Boilermakers.

Next: Brad Underwood’s transfer target list

Illinois couldn’t stop Purdue or Swanigan last season. The same result will likely happen if he returns as well. Illinois needs to get a big man to transfer in this season because Michael Finke and Leron Black will have a difficult time defending this monster of a player.