Think Happy Thoughts: Let's Talk About Greg Echenique

via www.scarletknights.com

I need to move on. I know you need to move on. The longer I think about...that...the worse I will feel. So why not talk about something a little more joyful? (For what it's worth, this was coming anyway).

Wondering who this Greg Echenique fella is? (Some/most, no doubt, already know, but whatever). Simply, he's a 6-8, 260 big man originally from Venezuela who ended up at Rutgers after being heavily recruited by Maryland out of a high school in NJ. He averaged over 8 points and 8 rebounds a game as a freshman in the Big East, no small feat.

This year, he was doing even better: about 12 and 7. Then he injured his eye and would've had to sit the rest of the season out, but instead decided to transfer because Fred Hill - Rutgers coach - is a lame duck at this point and, despite great talent, the Scarlet Knights are a pretty crummy program.

Echenique will enroll before the spring semester begins, meaning he'll be able to play at the end of the first semester next year, sometime in December (I want to say the 11th, but I'm not sure) as a junior. Maryland is currently in competition with Indiana, Creighton, Miami and Georgia Tech for his services.

I'd imagine that Miami and GT would be the biggest competitors given that they, like Maryland, are big-time ACC programs, and, unlike Maryland, present a big playing time opportunity next year.

At this point, I'm not exactly confident about the big man choosing Maryland; next year is a rebuilding year of  sorts, and, unless Maryland lands a big recruit soon, the following year won't be all that much better. At the same time, his playing time wouldn't be great considering Jordan Williams and James Padgett are already in-house. That doesn't seem like an overly attractive package.

On the other hand, Maryland might've been #2 for him and already has a solid relationship. It's been proven as a place that can get you to the NBA, and it's apparently Venezuelan-friendly. He also has the ability to step in and be a star right away. Oh, and the transfer process is rarely the same as the recruiting process; he needs to make a quick decision, and he's very familiar with Maryland already.

If Echenique were to choose Maryland, I'm not sure any team will have gone from average down low to outstanding down low any faster. He's a little similar to Williams in that both are just as wide as they are tall, though Echenique is slightly more developed and is more aggressive, probably due to his experience. Ultimately, I see him more like a bulkier Trevor Booker than a JWill, and he would instantly be one of the best post players in the ACC. Not a great complement to Williams, but simply having two true posts for once would be delightful.

Even though Maryland would be in a rebuilding phase, Echenique would definitely give this team bubble potential or greater, so long as Pe'Shon Howard, Terrell Stoglin, and (especially) Mychal Parker met expectations. Guard play is a necessity in the ACC, but less so when the big men can dominate games.

A decision will be coming soon from Echenique, because he needs to enroll pretty soon. Maryland will definitely have the scholarships to spare, so time to hope he ends up in College Park.

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