What happened to Jaime Echenique?


Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State forward Jaime Echenique looks up to the video board before their game against UCF on Jan. 16, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena.

Two quick fouls early in the game will usually send any Wichita State player to the bench. That’s not why Jaime Echenique substituted out against UConn not even three minutes in.

“I took him out of the game because he wasn’t very good,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said following the team’s sixth road loss of the season.

Held scoreless, the 6-11 junior had the worst game of his career. He tied a season-low nine minutes of action. In the last six games, Echenique has averaged four points. Before then, he’d had two three-game stretches where he scored in double figures.

What happened? He’s lacked the same bounce, quickness, and drive.

Joseph Barringhaus
Head Coach Gregg Marshall yells at junior Jaime Echenique during their game against UCF on Jan. 16, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena.

In the Shockers’ last non-conference game of the year at Virginia Commonwealth, Echenique aggravated his left foot after coming off a screen. He sat on the bench for the second half of play wearing a protective boot.

“He hasn’t been very good since he hurt his foot,” Marshall said. “He doesn’t give ups the same bounce … the same (ability) to block shots and rebound. He just seems to be favoring that foot all the time.”

That was 35 days ago. Since aggravating his foot, Echenique has once played 20 minutes. He hasn’t topped six rebounds or scored more than eight or averaged more than 50 percent from the field. Before the injury, he’d shot less than 50 percent just three times (in 11 games).

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State center Jaime Echenique reaches up for a basket during their game against UCF on Jan. 16, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena.

WSU has won five out of six games when Echenique has scored in double figures. Against UConn, Marshall decided he had seen enough out of the junior college transfer.

That’s been the status quo for the Shockers’ recent stretch. Reserves Asbjørn Midtgaard and Morris Udeze have each seen an uptick in playing time given Echenique’s contributions of late.

“He (Echenique) has either got to rest, sit out, and let that foot heal or be able to block it out totally, not just when he wants to,” Marshall said.

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State junior Jaime Echenique dunks the ball during their game against Southern Miss on Dec. 15, 2018 at INTRUST Bank Arena.