|Team: Guaros de Lara|
H: 6' 8"|
W: 265 lbs
(25 Years Old)
|RSCI: 94||Agent: Ben Pensack ||
High School: St. Benedict Prep
Hometown: Miranda, Venezuela
Along with teammate Samardo Samuels, Greg Echenique is part of what may be the top high school frontcourt in the country; so it was no surprise when both players registered double-doubles in St. Benedictís win over New York powerhouse Rice.
While the Louisville-bound Samuels had a first half that could be best described as non-descript, Echenique did everything he could to keep St. Benedictís in the game. The junior picked up the bulk of his points in the first half thanks to his headstrong style of play inside. Echenique is listed at 240 pounds, but from what we saw he easily looks like he could be even more than that. This massive frame makes him very tough to guard one-on-one in the post at this level. With that said, though, like they did to Samuels, Rice did a good job of swarming Echenique in the first half when he got touches on the block. Though he faired a little better than Samuels did initially, Echenique appeared to have some trouble passing out of these double-team situations.
Echenique showed some signs of a developing post game, but at this point generally seems to rely on overpowering defenders to get his baskets in the paint. He showed us a strong drop step while mixing in the occasional turn-around jump shot in the lane when forced out of position. The majority of the time, though, Echenique tends to put his head down and muscle his way to the rim. He isnít tremendously explosive, and lacks great height, so he could have trouble at the collegiate level against taller, longer post players.
One area where Echenique consistently made his presence felt was on the glass. The big man is a tenacious rebounder, having a wide frame that is hard to get around when boxed out, and he has a surprisingly quick second jump for a player his size. Echenique has above average length and is able to make plays on a lot of balls out of his area, something that will help tremendously at the collegiate level.
At this point, Echenique doesnít show much ability at all to play beyond eight feet from the basket. His ball handling skills are suspect even when making moves with his back to the basket, so it is safe to assume he isnít a major threat to drive and attack the basket. We didnít get a chance to see Echenique attempt any shots from anywhere outside the general vicinity of the basket, so we canít really judge his abilities as a shooter. He did however at times lack touch around the basket which in part played a role in his rebound numbers for the game.
Defensively, Echenique doesnít do anything at a particularly high level, but he isnít a defensive liability either. His frame makes him hard to back down on the block, but he needs to do a better job of fronting opponents. While he is very aggressive rebounding the basketball, he needs to be more aggressive as a shot blocker. Often times when players would drive the lane Echenique would simply stand with his arms straight up. While this will ensure that he doesnít get called for very many fouls, it did allow some of the more athletic players to elevate over or around him much more easily than they would have otherwise. Echenique also doesnít appear to possess tremendous quickness, and as a result struggles when forced to guard perimeter players.
There is certainly plenty of room for improvement by Echenique in his remaining time at the prep level. While he certainly shows flashes of potential to be a solid interior player at the collegiate level, right now a lot of his success appears to stem from being bigger and stronger than many of the players he encounters. His effort and hustle on the glass will certainly win him points with any coach, but he needs to become an impact defender more than three feet from the basket. Echenique also needs to develop his post game more in order to handle playing against players that will be able to match up with him physically. There is no doubt he is more of a center than a power forward at this point, although his height makes him undersized really for either position. Developing the ability to step out and knock down the occasional mid-range jump shot would go a long way to helping his stock in the future.
Samardo Samuelsí partner in crime in the post, junior big man Greg Echenique (#37 Scout, #45 Rivals) did a good job establishing himself as a legitimate prospect in his own right for the collegiate level. Heís a big, strong kid with a good frame, nice hands, an excellent wingspan, and a very nice feel for the game for a player his age.
Echenique is mostly a rebounder and finisher for this team, two things he can do very well. Heís a bit undersized and not incredibly explosive, but he runs the floor hard, competes extremely well, and shows good awareness on defense. His hands, strength and timing allow him to make a big impact on the glass, particularly on the offensive end. Heís a bit raw offensively as youíd expect for someone his age, but he looks like he should be able to develop into a capable back to the basket scoring threat down the road for whichever high-major program manages to reel him in. He plays calm and under control, but is pretty aggressive when needed. Itís not hard to see why some very good teams like him, since he has all the makings of a very nice 4-year role player who will play hard and smart and do the dirty work inside.