Watching Uche Echefu in action over the last couple of years, it's apparent that his strength, athletic ability and work ethic are his biggest assets. And, slowly but surely, his ball skills are coming along. He's a real battler inside on the boards and despite the Montrose Christian guards not getting him the ball very often Friday, Echefu still did his thing to the tune of 24 points, 13 rebounds and a pair of blocks.
Not bad for a guy who didn't have any plays run for him, huh?
Most of his work came off of the glass as usual -- getting stick backs, dunks in transition and garbage buckets in close. And the big guy hit a couple of three balls as well.
You can see that the 6-foot-8 power forward is enamored with being on perimeter sometimes and when he shoots the ball from the top of the key -- he's actually really accurate. He nailed a pretty jump-hook in traffic from about five feet out midway through the first quarter and really ran the floor on the break. He's fast for a power forward and he's got great stamina. Basically, he's just a great all around athlete.
Credit Echefu for keeping his cool when Benedictine's center, 6-9 Matt Kittrell blatantly threw a right hook at the back of his head after they got tangled up going for a rebound.
Yo Matt, have you SEEN Echefu's physique? Not a smart move son.
It's apparent that Duke is still highly interested in the Nigerian native because we saw the Blue Devil birddogs being quite social with the Montrose Christian staff before the game. And I'm sure they weren't fishing to see how Assistant Coach David Adkins' felt about the recent snowstorm. They were attempting to gauge Duke's chances, we're quite sure.
Talking to the usual sources on Echefu, it's still the same situation for Stu Vetter's best player....he's going to take his time with this decision. A lot of what Echefu puts into his decision comes down to two things -- playing time and academics. This is a smart kid and he's not going to make a decision on emotion. He's doing his homework, researching the colleges, looking over projected rosters and seeing who really wants him out there.
Count Duke in as one of the schools that really wants Echefu.
Not much worthy of making the highlight reel from Echefu in the first half, aside from a couple of three balls from the top of the key. But he shook lose in the second half when the Benedictine Cadet's post players began to tire. He had an AND1 to the hole in traffic and swished his charity toss.
Two of his dunks on the break really gave the crowd a look at the power and athletic freakiness that Echefu possesses. One tomahawk dunk where the 6-8 forward hung in the air and thunder-dunked it so hard that he shook the rafters. Seriously.
The other was another powerful two-handed dunk in transition where he rose up, flexed his steel muscles and angrily punished the poor rim.
Echefu has a lot of work to do to be a college star, but he's got the athletic ability, the body of a young David Robinson and a relentless will about him near the basket. Throw in some improving skills and he's a solid high major player with a very impressive upside.
Still pretty much the same for Echefu in terms of a college list. Michigan is in really good shape, Kentucky has offered and wants him. Ditto for Duke, Virginia Tech, Texas, Georgia and the hometown Virginia Cavaliers. Rumor has it that the Wolverines might be the frontrunner, but we couldn't get confirmation of that at the event.