Northwestern may have an early answer as to who will fill John Shurna's spot in the Wildcats' starting lineup next season.
A source confirmed Thursday that Louisville's Jared Swopshire will transfer to NU for his fifth year of eligibility and can play immediately. The source said that the NCAA rule on graduate students applies to Swopshire, who will graduate from Louisville in May.
The rule allows athletes to transfer to another school if they have earned their degree, have one year of eligibility remaining and their current school does not offer the graduate program they wish to study.
Swopshire, a 6-8 forward, sat out all of his junior season in 2010-11 with a groin injury and only averaged 3.3 points 2.8 rebounds and 13.1 minutes this season. Swopshire only played about four minutes against Kentucky in the Cardinals' national semifinal loss March 31.
Swopshire replaces Shurna's height in the post. And even though Swopshire won't replace the bulk of Shurna's scoring -- the Glen Ellyn native leaves NU as the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,038 points -- Swopshire will provide the experience of having playing on a Final Four team and give the Wildcats some sorely needed rebounding help.
Swopshire's departure wasn't exactly surprising in Louisville. In February, coach Rick Pitino announced that Swopshire was transferring for the final year of his eligibility.
Swopshire's father, Teddy, said his son was also considering Illinois, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Virginia and "about 20-30 mid-major" schools.
"They made that Final Four run and it didn't leave us with a large window of time," Teddy Swopshire said. "It only gave him two weekends [to visit and decide]. It was a struggle to figure out the next move."
Teddy Swopshire said his son visited NU last weekend and decided Thursday to transfer.
Teddy Swopshire also said that Jared's groin injury was not brought up by any school in the transfer process.
Swopshire started 20 games in 2009-10, his sophomore year, and was the only returning starter from that squad on this year's national semifinalist team.