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.
Rutgers sophomore forward Greg Echenique will miss the rest of the season and will seek a medical redshirt.
Echenique, a 6-foot-9, 265-pound forward from Guatire, Venezuela, underwent successful surgery Dec. 9 to repair a detached retina in his left eye. His surgeon told him not to touch a basketball for eight weeks and he would not have been eligible to return to action until at least mid-February.
Echenique then underwent a follow-up procedure on Thursday.
“The well-being of my players is always the top consideration,” Rutgers coach Fred Hill said. “Our primary concern is for Gregory’s complete recovery, so that his academic and athletic development continues in good health.”
Echenique was accidentally poked in the eye by a teammate earlier this year.
In order to obtain a medical redshirt, a player typically must compete in less than 30 percent of his team’s games. Rutgers has 32 games on its schedule this season, including the Big East tournament (which counts as one game), and Echenique competed in seven, or 22 percent.
He started all seven games in which he played this season, averaging 12.6 points and 7.7 rebounds.
Without Echenique, Rutgers will rely more on senior center Hamady N’Diaye, as well as freshmen Austin Johnson and Brian Okam.
“Greg is not out here and people gotta step up, especially me being the only senior,” N’Diaye said Tuesday after the win over Rider. “I have the experience and everything. It’s kind of a loss but at the same time we just gotta learn how to deal with it.”
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.