COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The best available Central Ohio recruit is available no more. In front of an audience at the Africentric campus, the top 100 recruit selected Xavier for his college destination on Friday.
Considered one of the top players in Ohio in the 2023 class, Swain fielded over a dozen offers throughout the last two years and chose the Musketeers over programs such as Clemson and Arizona State. The reigning Ohio Division III player of the year first received an offer from Xavier in June of 2021, under previous head coach Travis Steele. After Steele was let go, former Arizona coach Sean Miller was hired back to the school where he started his coaching career. Swain already had a positive outlook on the Musketeer program, but once Miller made his own offer to Swain, the 6-foot-6 wing began to take serious notice.
"When I was first offered, I liked Xavier, but I wasn't sure if they were my top decision," Swain said in a phone interview with 270 Hoops. "When Sean Miller was hired, it changed."
"I felt like they were the best fit for me and my game," Swain said. "They definitely recruited me the hardest. Then when you see Sean's past success and the NBA players he has produced, I thought I could thrive [at Xavier] and have the best possibility to make it to the next level and that's my goal."
One of those NBA players is former Arizona shooting guard Dalen Terry, who was selected with the 18th pick by the Chicago Bulls this past summer. Swain said Miller would put videos of Terry next to his own, which signaled he had a similar type of game and upside as one of the top defensive players in the Pac-12 last season.
"How he would used his length, athleticism and IQ to help kick start the team, it was super similar," Swain said. "Using my handles, working off screens, playing in transition, that's where I'm at my best and how they felt they would utilize me."
Photo provided by Dailyn Swain
While some top-tier players feel overwhelmed by the recruiting process, Swain said he embraced the opportunity and took pride in making a true evaluation of his options. "I actually enjoyed it," Swain said. "It introduced me to a new level of basketball. Being able to see these [college players] and the staff in person, it gave me a good vision of what's to come for me."
Even though Swain received a couple offers less than a month ago from Clemson and Louisville, he didn't want to extend the process much longer. "I actually had visits set up with other schools, but I didn't want to wait too long and end up at a school I couldn't fully evaluate," Swain said.
With the recruiting process wrapped up, Swain now can solely focus on his senior season and help the Nubians reach the state tournament for the second straight year. Last March, the Nubians lost a tight 53-48 battle with Ottawa-Glandorf in the semifinal. In addition to Swain, Africentric returns a healthy amount of talent that should make the Nubians a strong contender for the Division III state championship.
"We all have one goal and that's to win a state championship," Swain said. "To see how close we got last year, if we keep doing what we're doing and then more, we are right there towards our goal." To help get in shape, Swain and his teammates that do not play football participate with the cross country program.
The Nubians also got a big boost to their roster when junior Cortez Freeman, an honorable mention on the Division I All-Central District team, transferred from Canal Winchester. In addition to both having strong versatility, Swain and Freeman are first cousins. "I'm super excited to have Cortez with us," Swain said. "It's always been an idea of ours [to play together]."
While the season is less than three months away, on this Friday in September, Swain was able to flash his patented smile and celebrate a joyous moment that took years to create. But it won't be long until Swain is back in the gym, sharpening his craft to maximize his potential. "I'm just focused on preparing myself for the season, to win the City League championship again, the district and regional championship again and a state championship," Swain said. "And while all that is going on, to also prepare myself and my body for the next level. So I can make progress instantly and get on the court early."
With an already impressive career resume, it's safe to believe Swain's best basketball is just beginning.
Photo provided by Dailyn Swain