The countdown has begun.
Neosho County forward Freddie McSwain will choose between Indiana and Kansas State at 5:30 p.m. on April 24 in a ceremony at his junior college. That gives him 12 days to reflect on his recruiting trips to Manhattan, take an official visit to Indiana and then make a decision.
He may need every minute. As of now, his two finalists are on level footing.
“Each school can develop me more, and they see a lot of great things in me,” McSwain said by phone. “They can help me get to the next level and increase everything about me.”
McSwain, a 6-foot-6, 220-pounder, has become a sought-after recruit in recent weeks. He was also previously considering Auburn, Illinois State and Bradley, as well as UNLV.
K-State surged into his top two after a pair of visits to Manhattan.
“It’s a great place and a great environment, just a great community,” McSwain said. “I had a great time there and I enjoyed everybody. Even the coaching staff felt like family. I just enjoyed everybody there.”
McSwain is also high on Indiana, and will check out the Hoosiers’ campus next week. The visit begins Monday and ends Wednesday.
One advantage K-State may have in the recruiting battle is associate head coach Chris Lowery, whom has handled McSwain’s recruitment. He has a unique connection with McSwain’s father, having played together at Southern Illinois.
“They were just catching up on good old times and stuff when I was on a visit there,” McSwain said. “It felt good to see my dad connecting with an old friend and having a good time.”
The Wildcats have one open scholarship following the transfer of freshman guard Ron Freeman. McSwain is K-State’s top target to replace him.
A versatile player capable of playing both small forward and power forward, he could get significant minutes immediately with the Wildcats.
“They say they don’t have a guy like me,” McSwain said. “I can play some big minutes there. I have two years left and they know I am a junior-college guy trying to play. For Neosho, I was a three and a stretch four. Probably at the next level, I will play more three. I will be working on my outside game a lot.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett