Maryland basketball fills a need, adds Canadian center Caelum Swanton-Rodger


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Maryland men’s basketball coach Kevin Willard added some much-needed frontcourt depth Thursday with the signing of 6-foot-11, 220-pound Caelum Swanton-Rodger. Swanton-Rodger, a recent high school graduate from Calgary, Alberta, joins a 2022 recruiting class otherwise heavy on local talent.

“He is a high-motor center who is extremely active around the rim and on the defensive end,” Willard said in a statement. “He’s very effective in pick-and-roll situations because of his athleticism around the basket.”

Behind projected starter Julian Reese, a rising sophomore, Maryland has little depth among its big men. Swanton-Roger averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks on the Marquee Hoops circuit. He previously played for the Canadian national team during the FIBA U16 Americas Championship.

“Maryland is a perfect fit for me and I am excited to become a Terp,” Swanton-Rodger said in a statement. “… I can’t wait to be a part of the program.”

The center is Willard’s fourth commit to a class primarily built through transfers with local ties. Jahmir Young, a point guard who previously played at Charlotte, once starred at DeMatha, and Georgetown transfer guard Donald Carey is from Upper Marlboro. The only other incoming freshman, 6-foot-6 wing Noah Batchelor, is a native of Frederick, Md., who most recently played for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Young and Carey are likely to form the Terps’ starting backcourt. Swanton-Rodger could contend for minutes following the loss of center Qudus Wahab, who transferred back to Georgetown.

Willard, whose team lost five players this offseason — Fatts Russell, Eric Ayala and Xavier Green to graduation, plus transfers Wahab and Marcus Dockery — has one scholarship remaining. But Inside Maryland Sports reported Thursday night that the Terps had landed a commitment from another Canadian: forward Patrick Emilien, a graduate transfer from St. Francis Brooklyn. The 6-foot-7 native of Toronto averaged 12.5 points and 6.2 rebounds during one season with the Terriers; before that, he spent three years at Western Michigan.

Swanton-Rodger, who played for Edge Prep High and the club UPlay Canada, is Maryland’s first Canadian player since Ontario native Justin Jackson, who was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 2018 NBA draft. But Emilien could soon join him.


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