Gregory Echenique is a 6'9 250 lb. power forward who has transferred to Creighton from Rutgers University just in time for the second semester TheBluejaycafe.com has learned.
A 4-star (according to Rivals), top 50 recruit coming out of high school, Echenique committed to Rutgers in 2008 after Creighton had heavily recruited him. However, things did not work out with the Scarlet Knights, and Greg was released from his scholarship last week.
It's about time for some good news for the boys on the Hilltop, and it comes in the package of the highest rated transfer in the history of Creighton basketball.
Echenique, a Venezulan native, averaged 8.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game last season for the Scarlet Knights but played just seven games this season after injuring his eye in a pickup game. Echenique had surgery to repair a detached retina and has applied for a medical redshirt in order to get this season back. He was averaging over 12 points and seven rebounds this season before the injury and should be back at full strength next season.
It is expected that Echenique will be granted the medical from the NCAA and will be eligible to play for the Jays next December after first semester of the 2010-11 school year. He will have two and a half years of eligibility left and a chance to be a major contributor for Creighton next season.
You can not overstate how large of a get this is for the Bluejays.
Creighton has only seen three transfers in the Dana Altman era from BCS schools. Nick Bahe came from Kansas, Brodie Deren from Northwestern and Chad Millard transferred from Louisville. It is very rare to get a player of Echenique's ability via transfer, let alone one that turned down BCS schools to come to Omaha.
Echenique brings a large presence to the floor and features tremendous body control and a back to the basket scorer for the offense. He adds instant depth to the front court as well, which has struggled since the departure of Kenton Walker. He will join 6'11 Will Artino and 6'8 Keithrick Denson as newcomers to next year's roster.
It is thought that Duke, Indiana, Maryland and a few other BCS schools were interested in Echenique transferring to play for them as well.
As Jerry Carino, Rutgers beat writer put it:
"Gregory has A TON of talent. He's super smart. Has a high basketball IQ. He's a good kid - he will not be a problem. He will be a model player for whoever gets him.
I think if you got Gregeory into shape, at Creighton's level - no offense - he could be a dominant player at that level. He could hold his own in the Big East. Good hands, can finish, good post moves and he's a good passer. He's a good rebounder and could be even better if he were in shape. All he needs a jump shot to be a complete player"
We will have an interview with Echenique up very soon, so stay with TheBluejaycafe.com for more information on the transfer.