More transfer talk: Gregory Echenique considering Indiana, four others

  • 01/12/2010 3:01 pm in

For those wishing Indiana possessed a few more viable options on its front line, this could potentially cheer you up.

Gregory Echenique, a 6-foot-9, 270-pound big man from Venezuela via St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., has Indiana on a shortlist of possible destinations after Rutgers announced last Friday via release that Echenique would be departing the program. Adam Zagoria has the list, which also includes Miami, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Creighton.

Once considered half of the one-two punch that was going to get Rutgers back to the NCAA Tournament, (McDonald’s All-American guard and scoring machine Mike Rosario being the other half) Echenique was slated to sit out the rest of this season after an accidental in-practice eye-poke led to a detached retina. The big man was averaging 12.6 points and 7.7 rebounds before the injury.

It’s unclear at present exactly what Echenique’s eligibility status would be wherever he transfers, as he was reportedly seeking a medical redshirt — as opposed to the regular kind — for this season. He still technically has his regular redshirt to burn as well, but, since medical redshirts cannot be applied for until the spring, it’s really anyone’s guess as to whether that would be granted, how it might be affected by a potential transfer, etc.

What’s equally unclear is how Echenique, who appears at first blush to be more of a back-to-the-basket kind of player, would fit in Tom Crean’s up-tempo system or how interested Indiana would be in adding him to the program. Still, Echenique was a four-star forward in the 2008 class who had offers from Duke, Maryland, Pitt and Memphis, among others, so he’s certainly no slouch.

We’ll muddy the waters further by pointing out that the spring semester has started at IU, but not at Rutgers, so even if this gentleman would like to be eligible by second semester 2011, it’s going to take some midnight oil to figure out if he can be.

As you can see, this situation lacks much clarity at this point, not an uncommon problem right after a kid decides to transfer. Either way, we’ll try to get something more concrete for you on this if it moves forward.

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  • GFDave

    Correct me if I'm wrong and assuming he chooses IU:

    –the best case scenario is that he would be eligible in Jan, 2011 with 3 years left.
    –the worst case scenario is that he would be eligible in Fall, 2011 with 2 years left.

  • Uncle Joey

    Seems like he would be a huge get for IU and CTC if we could land him. Tom Pritchard simply does not seem to be a big enough presence against other post men in the Big Ten… and combine that with the fact that Bawa could potentially be another 2+ years away from developing into anything significant. So this seems like a win/win situation if we could land a big with only a few years left of eligibility… that way he won't eat up too much scholly space into the future. He could come in and immediately have an impact on this team and really open up Mo and Watford's game for next season.

  • JayR5

    Everyone’s taking shots at Danny Moore. He’s far from the problem. His line against Illinois was pretty good for a sophomore point guard playing a Big Ten game. 10 minutes, 3 points, no missed shots, 1 assist, and no turnovers. He’s a perfect role player, and by the time he’s a senior he has a chance to be a contributor. Crean plays whoever plays best in practice. If he can continue to develop his three point shot he’s easily athletic enough to play in the Big Ten. He’s a solid defender, and he’s playing more controlled than he did last year, when he started a ton of games. I’m not saying he’s Magic Johnson. But he’s not terrible, and cheap shots at his expense just show that you’re not actually following the team. He’s the kind of player that would normally take a scholarship offer to Boston University, then come home to play against IU as a senior and light up the Hoosiers, causing all the message boards to rip whoever’s coaching for not giving him a chance in the first place.

    And no, we’re not related.

  • BaseballBuc

    A couple observations of why this could work:
    -We are the only team on this list (with exception to Creighton because i've never seen their roster)that doesn't have a legitimate post player.
    – He would start from day 1 in my opinion.
    – If he came in and averaged 2 pts. and 8 reb. a game, i would be happy because it is an upgrade to the 4 reb. we are getting from Pritch.

    – The only thing I can think of going against us, is if he wants to stay relatively close to home.

    By the way, Crean basically said today that matchup problems are causing IU to match down in size and Elston isn't getting minutes. But on a good note, he did say he needs to find a way to get Elston more minutes.

    Sad to hear about Uwe Blab's son who passed away due to head injuries. We are saddened by the loss and we will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Taskmaster75

    My Condolences to Senor Blab, and I will keep you in my prayers.

  • edhardy underwear

  • iurons

    When you look at the recruiting classes for Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State Ohio State and others in the big ten, Indiana probably ranks in the bottom half in the 2010 recruiting wars. If we want a winning record in the next two years we need more depth than our 2010 recruiting class will give us . Do you really want Daniel Moore playing extended minutes in a key conference game . Name nine players that can compete at the level required to win in Big Ten. No more projects for the next two years. Echenique is not a project and makes us competitive next year for a upper level finish next year, or at worst in 2011. Without him or a five star freshman it looks like two to three more years before we will really compete for an Ncaa berth.


    Crean has talked alot about how last year the lack of competition for minutes had hurt them as a team and I believe that is still at the very least part of the problem with our bigs now. Adding Echenique sooner rather than later would send a clear and strong message to all of our bigs that they had better pick up the pace and be ready to bust their butts in the upcoming off season cause simply being on scholarship and being taller than 6' 6″ coupled with “some” hard work and “some” natural ability wasn't going to automatically put you out on the floor for more than mop up minutes. It would also give Bawa somebody to go up against in practice that can match up with him strength wise and heigth wise, which is probably something that he doesn't get very much of with this group. How is Echenique's name pronounced anyway ?

    On another note while I too also scratch my head sometimes with some of Crean's decisions anyone that has coached any amount of bball knows that most decisions are made mostly on things that fans do not see at practice or any number of other things that we do not see or even understand. While Crean should not and can not explain everything that we have questions about it was nice to hear him address Elston's lack of minutes and that he was going to have to try and get him more minutes. That should not be that hard as TP seems to give him plenty of excuses to find them. Elston's minutes seems to be where I differ with his decision making the most OK that and not getting Bawa on the floor any and every time at all possible as there is no substitute for actual game time minutes nor can you simulate that kind of thing very well, if at all, in practice but once again we do not see and hear everything that goes on behind the scenes and at practice.

    I am still solidly behind Crean and am of the mind that this is really his first year to start rebuilding our program. No one is more frustrated and wants to win more than Crean I'm sure. Alot of people say it was his fault that he lost a home game that we led by13 or 15 points but if you look around the country at different games you will see that that is not excatly an uncommon thing and it is happening to teams in games that are not being played by more or less freshman and sophmores of which none were 5 star recruits. While you can argue about how he has handled his personal life I doubt there would have been a long line of naysayers if Rickie P from Louisville had been offered our coaching job and took it I know I would not have been one of them. Louisville had, if memory serves me right a 17 point lead in their last game and was playing at home and ended up losing. Yes it was a highly ranked and veteran team that came back on them but there is not a whole lot of difference between 'Nova coming back on them and UI coming back on us because just as UI is not 'Nova we are not excatly Louisville either. A week or so before that Louisville reversed the roles and they were the ones that overcame a large halftime deficit to almost win the game against the Big Blue Slimeys. I dislike Calislimey as much as the next person espicially now that he coaches “them” but I doubt too many would have been howling about us hiring him if that had come to pass yet he also is such a bad coach he almost allowed his team to lose a game after having a large halftime lead also. In fact Wall was probably the only reason that they did not lose that game

    Maybe because I was lucky enough to have spoken with Crean at length before he was our coach ( alright 30 or 40 minutes for this fan is considered at length ) and have spoke with him for just a little bit since taking the job as our coach is why I am still backing him 100% and will until I feel like he has given me a for sure reason not too. Hearing someone's perspective about how they see things when they are looking at them from an outsiders point of view and then again when they are on the inside I believe gives a person somewhat of an insight as to what kind of a person / coach they really are because I doubt very seriously that he remembered talking to me before he was our coach and was thinking that he had to make sure the told me the same thing now that he did before he was our coach. As far as chewing on the players when they make certain mistakes I think he is handling that somewhat differently then he would if we were not in the beginning of such a massive rebuilding project and chooses to do more of that kind of thing in a more private setting such as practice. Let us not forget that more than a few IU fans and even alot of Knight diehards felt like he made alot of players play scared and with an unhelpfull amount of caution thus not allowing them to give everything that they were capable of giving to the team for fear of feeling his wrath by making a simple mistake and being taken out and screamed at. Once again I am sure that many will say that they are in the big time now and are getting a free ride in school but then again one has to remember that they were attending their senoir prom less than a year ago. I also know people are no more tired of hearing the so young / no leadership thing than I am but the bottom line is it is still true no matter how much we dislike it or how tired we are of hearing it. While I wish the rate at which we were getting better was a whole lot faster IMHO we are at least getting better and at a rate that I am alright with, so far, but my glasses are not so cream and crimson colored that I will refuse to not see things any other way. Next year at the earliest is when we might be able to justify seriously doubting some things that he does but then again he will be once again installing freshman into slots that will call for more minutes on their part than it normally would if not for our situation plus Roth and Creek to a certain extent will not have had the benifit of alot of bball that they would have gotten had they not gotten injured so we will kinda be back where we started from this year only with a little more depth and a little more experience.

    GO HOOSIERS !!!!!!!!!

  • JerryCT

    Enjoyed your comments but…………is that all you had to say ?

  • Kreigh_Smiths_Short_Shorts

    Some good comments in here. One that I disagree with though. There would have been a lot of people disagreeing with the choice of Pitino or Calipari to coach IU. As I recall, there was a lot of talk in this forum that people had little respect for either of these coaches and did not want them at Indiana.

  • StuHoo

    Not to get too far afield here, but I'm starting to get a warm, fuzzy feeling about progress on the Marquis Teague front. Seems like we are steadily building rapport lately. When you connect the various ITH links I'm seeing steady contact and no sense that the Teague ship has sailed to L'ville, Ky, etc. Anyone have any serious substance to back this up?


    Agreed. The owner of the title of longest post on ITH probably not one to frame and put on the wall. I guess I should not comment in the future late at night right after giving our team's situation alot (ok maybe too much) of thought. Will try and keep it down to a much shorter version in the future. Sometimes too much of a person's passion can be a bad thing I guess.


    Agree for the most part on JC but I personally would not have had a problem with Pitino. If JC had been hired and came in and started winning alot quicker and bigger than Crean has alot of people would have suddenly been alright with the hire ( ie denim shirt). I did not ever feel real good about denim shirt and would like to believe I would have been the same way with JC. I was just trying to point out that other coaches that are considered very good coaches by most have had the same thing happen to their teams that were deeper and more talented than our is right now. You probably thought it but was nice enough not to say it. ( see my reply to JerryCT)

  • Hardwood83

    I am all for adding quality big men- but is this 'the' guy? Dunno, but I trust the staff will fully explore it because, as others have mentioned, IU desperately needs help in the middle and no one on the current roster strikes me as the answer.

  • JerryCT

    Don't ever lose your passion for IU basketball …………I was just kidding and trying to lighten you up.

  • CutterInChicago

    Funny you should mention Teague. I just had a Purdue guy tell me that he was certain they were going to land Teague… I chuckled and said Linc Darner Jr was available for their PG needs…

    (ed. note: there is no Linc Darner Jr but Linc is the coach at Florida Southern College and seems to have cut his permed mullet ).

  • JerryCT

    I think Echenique will go to Miami or Md and why not. Vasquez at MD will have an influence and Miami has a huge spanish speaking population where he and his family would be comfortable.

    The worst thing Crean could do is let the desire to win to detract from the character of the program he is trying to build. I think , but not sure, that his “brand” for IU is something like this:

    1) always play mostly 3-4 year players
    2) always play harder than the other team
    3) graduate 90% of all players
    4) have 1/3 of the team from Indiana
    5) have former players actively support the team after they have left IU
    6) win 70+% of the games
    7) avg less than 1 player problem every 4 years

    If he can do this then I would say he could be considered more successful than Calhoun, Pearl, Pitino, Calipari …..despite any championships they might win. I donot want to be embarrassed by the program any more than I want to be embarrassed by losses

  • I think he's “the guy” if he wants to come to IU. From all accounts he has great grades, so academically he fits our “brand” (I like Jerry's theme on that), plus he's a proven commodity at the D1 level, which is something this team desperately needs. What's not to like?

    Although I hope we could add one of these guys to Echenique, neither of Plumlee or Zeller is proven at this level. With the immediate help this team needs, I think it would be a great addition.

  • Uncle Joey

    Did you actually read his post? I don't think he was “taking a shot” at Daniel Moore; he was more or less making a point that IU needs more big time playmaker recruits to legitimately have a shot at an NCAA berth.


    The UM game should be interesting in more ways than one after viewing Crean's twitter page he says we need to find opportunities to play 2 big men with Watford more, add the size and length we need and I really want Derek in more. Is he just saying this to try and quiet some of the complaining about his minutes or is he starting to see things the same way as most of the fans.
    1) Can we beat a team on the road that we beat at home just a few days ago ? Any way we can video conference Mo's mom into the locker room before we take the floor ?
    2) Will this tweet actually mean Elston is going to see more minutes even though we had to go small last time to match up with them and in doing so got a win.
    3) What team will show up the one that has already beat UM, the team that did not show up at Ohio $t or the somewhere in between team that showed up for the UI game.

  • marsh21

    I'm glad Crean and company are going after a proven big man as we need them! I believe Crean is starting to feel the pressure and knows he can't have his third year at IU with a losing record. The fans will give him two years but will want measured progress beyond that. I'm behind him 100% but when you pay $2 million + per year the boosters want results! Go Crean and keep bringing them in!!!

  • cooper

    I find it funny when a coach says I want to play so and so more…uh you are the coach, play him more. He could take minutes from both Capo and Pritchard and guard players both of those guys guard. He also is a better rebounder than Capo. Its not a matchup issue its just Crean not putting him in the game

    I don't see much changing with how the team plays or how minutes are doled out. It just seems to me this is what Crean wants to do and he is going to stick with it.

  • Kelin Blab

    I fully expect IU to have about a 500 record at best next year. I don't expect the NCAA tourney for a couple of years unless a top prospect comes in. If we sign Selby and get some post presence for next year maybe….otherwise, the expectation would be at best a 500 record.

  • JerryCT

    Agreed…..I think.

    I am beginning to look at it this way. If Hulls, Jones were not in the game TP would have 2-3 fewer fouls because his help D is not as required. I can do that by replacing Hulls w Dumes and Jones w Elston. To apprecaite TP's role in the game you have to watch just him……this means watching the game twice probably. I want more minutes, more screens, more D, etc from him not less.

    I still don't know if more minutes from Elston makes a difference in a game because he does not play enough or with a complimentary lineup. This is why he needs to play….he is too good to be so unknown. Hulls and Moore play 40min/gm and w Capo there are enough minutes to kick Elson and Dumes up a notch.

    I like HUlls and really like Moore this year but not 40+ min/gm when we have some unknown pieces to figure out. I would hate to end the season not knowing whether Elston or Bawa could have done more.

  • IUDan

    Tend to agree with you, Jerry. My guess (only) based on TC's comments on the subject is that Elston's defense might not be any better than Jones', and his offensive production would be less so, so that wouldn't be a good trade-off.

    I don't see that logic as clearly for Hulls/Dumes – Dumes has proven to be a pretty good defender, and his offensive output should be on par (likely better) than Hulls . . . although might give up some ballhandling/intangibles (Dumes can show some poor judgment at times).

    I'm hoping based on comments we'll see more of Elston. And overall I agree that TP brings alot more than what shows in the box score – hopefully he can get over the “hump” soon . . .

  • There goes that, he's going to Creighton according to Gary Parrish.

  • iurons

    Did not mean to disrespect Daniel Moore.  Love players like him on this team.  Did not the players that Samson recruited and never want to see that again.  This team needs some of the same talent that the other top teams in the league have Three and four star players can win   ( just look at Wisconsin  and Purdue )   But IU is two or three years away from assembling eight or nine of these players and I am just a little impatient.   Go IU