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The Journal Gazette

Monday, November 06, 2017 2:20 am

McSwain a bright spot for IU exhibition play

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

BLOOMINGTON – College basketball is not only about frontline players but about depth.

Indiana might have discovered an important bench player during the preseason. Senior forward Freddie McSwain Jr. averaged 8.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and had two blocked shots in 28 minutes during the Hoosiers' two-game exhibition slate that wrapped up Sunday with a 74-53 win over Indianapolis.

"Freddie really energized the game with his ability to offensive rebound," IU coach Archie Miller said. "He gets up and goes and gets balls. There's a value of six offensive rebounds in the game. There's a value to what he played: 13 minutes, nine rebounds. He's a physical guy who can help us hopefully contain on the glass and play hard on defense, and he'll take his spots on offense.

"I was pleased with Freddie tonight. I think he had a big momentum twist in the second half when he was in. I think that helped us."

McSwain, 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, averaged 2.7 points and 2.5 rebounds while playing in 31 of Indiana's 34 games last season. He spent the two seasons before that at a community college before transferring to Bloomington.

He now is more comfortable in his second year in the program.

"Because my group of guys has confidence in me, so I have confidence in myself, as well," McSwain said. "What I worked on in the offseason was my midrange jumper and being patient in the post and working my post moves and just being confident overall, just being confident in my game, and that's really it."

Teammate Collin Hartman said he wasn't surprised by McSwain's performance.

"Freddie was who he is every day in practice," Hartman said. "If he can stick with that all year, which I'm confident he can, it will really help us for sure this year."