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.
PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Greg Echenique is considering a list of five schools when he finally leaves Rutgers.
Indiana, Creighton, Miami, Maryland and Georgia Tech are on the list for the 6-foot-9, 270-pound Echenique, who announced last week he was transferring from Rutgers.
“[It’s] always tough when a piece of the puzzle isn’t with you,” Rutgers coach Fred Hill said Tuesday after practice. “We certainly appreciate everything he did for our program. We certainly support him. He made a personal family decision to move on. I’ve always supported my players and if that’s what’s in his best interest, he moved on. And now we’re going to move forward.
“We weren’t going to have Gregory for the rest of this year, so regardless of whether Gregory was here or he decided to move on he wasn’t going to be a part of this year’s team. What do now is, we move forward.”
A native of Guatire, Venezuela who starred at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, Echenique started all seven games in which he played this season. He averaged 12.6 points and 7.7 rebounds-per-game, while shooting 61 percent (28-46) from the field with 16 blocks.
Echenique was accidentally poked in the left eye Nov. 16 by a teammate during the preseason in a unofficial scrimmage at Rutgers. He then underwent successful surgery Dec. 9 to repair a detached retina. 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.
On Dec. 19, Rutgers announced that he would seek a medical redshirt.
“Obviously, after the injury, he started to evaluate things and decided that for family matters or for his personal reasons, that he was going to move on,” Hill said.
Echenique will have to sit out a year as per NCAA regulations once he transfers.
Hill said Rutgers would continue to recruit post players to fill the void left by Echenique.
“We were already recruiting post players and…we’re involved with some really good ones, from the junior college ranks, from overseas and some transfers,” Hill said. “We’re already recruiting post players, we’re already involved. Now, obviously there’s an opportunity for one of those guys to come in and we’ve got to go get another post player.”
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.