There is a value to what St. Benedicts center Greg Echenique does for a team. The 6-foot-8 junior shut down some of the elite players in the nation last month and stepped up to every challenge that came his way.
He pushed around some of the best of the best and allowed his talented teammate Samardo Samuels go into attack mode with little trouble en route to two national tournament titles in December.
Echenique threw his big body at Derrick Favors and limited the Georgian in the post at the Bojangle's Shootout. Favors couldn't score on the four-star Venezuelan. Paired against Greg Monroe, Echenique took the top senior out of his game and held him to five of 17 shooting from the floor.
Because of Echenique, St. Benedicts became the first team from New Jersey to win the City of Palms. Because of Echenique, the field at the Bojangle's Shootout just didn't have an answer for the Grey Bees inside.
"One thing that coach Hurley has been talking about is this season being a one game season every time we play," Echenique said. "We can only worry about one game at a time. It is like we have a new season every time we step out on the floor."
Each time out on the floor, there were college coaches watching. Echenique has offers from Memphis, Duke, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn, Maryland and Rutgers that he is considering.
"A lot of schools have shown interest and I'll have to narrow it down at the end of the season. I want to finish the season strong before I look at that," Echenique said.
"I want to visit Miami because of the high Hispanic population. But, to be honest, I don't think that will be the only reason why I choose a school. I'm already far away from home and getting used to it so it may not be a factor. Bottom line, I don't think it will matter."
Academics, however, will matter.
"That is something that I will look at the most. I want to find a place where I can balance academics and sports," Echenique said. "I'm good with numbers."
In December, he was good at keeping others from posting great numbers while the number of offers shot up tremendously.