Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
In case there was any doubt, Greg Echenique has been cleared by the NCAA to play at Rutgers.
“I didn’t think there was ever any question whether he’d be cleared,” RU coach Freddie Hill told Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com. “We’re really excited about Greg and the rest of our freshman class.”
Echenique, a 6-foot-9, 260-pound big man who starred at St. Benedict’s Prep, excelled this summer for the Venezuelan U18 National Team in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship. Echenique led the tournament in scoring (22.2 ppg) and blocks (3.6 per game) and was second in rebounding (13.6).
“I know college basketball is a different thing, especially in the Big East but I feel good where I am right now,” Echenique said in an interview this summer. “I know I (have) to get better, but the more I play I earn more experience so at least that will help me on the court. It also helps me to know what I do better and what I need to improve. It helps me to stay in shape, and I am looking forward to playing at Rutgers.”
He was originally a member of the Class of 2009. When it was discovered by St. Ben’s head coach Dan Hurley that Echenique had taken his freshman year in Venezuela, the process was set in motion for him to become a member of the Class of ’08.
Echenique joins an incoming class that includes St. Anthony shooting guard Mike Rosario, who has been spending a lot of time at the RAC this summer working on his game; 6-6 wing Patrick Jackson of Brooklyn Boys & Girls; and 6-8 big man Christian Morris of South Kent (Conn.), who has dropped 50 pounds, to form an impressive recruiting class.
Rutgers also has 6-7 wing Dane Miller and 6-8 big man Austin Johnson committed for the Class of 2009.
The Scarlet Knights have targeted 2010 guard Kyrie Irving of St. Patrick of Elizabeth and 2010 forward Tobias Harris of Long Island Lutheran, who has Rutgers in his final 10.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.