Echols to suit up for 'Birds at UIC
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[DEC. 13, 2003]
-- The official grades
were submitted, and Illinois State's Najeeb Echols will make his
Redbird debut on Saturday in his hometown of Chicago at the UIC
Pavilion against Illinois-Chicago. Per NCAA transfer rules, Echols
had to satisfy a year of residence in order to establish eligibility
Head coach Porter Moser will
ease Echols into the Redbird rotation but is pleased with the added
depth he immediately brings to the post.
"I'm happy for Najeeb and we
welcome him to the team," Moser said. "We are going to work him in
slowly to help him with conditioning and let him get back into the
flow offensively and defensively. As I've said before, there is
going to be a learning curve with Najeeb, and I don't want to put a
lot of pressure on him. But when Najeeb is at his best, he is an
explosive power forward that will bring us some depth inside and
help us on rebounding."
Echols, a 6-7, 230-pound
transfer from Missouri, played in 10 games for the Tigers during the
2002-03 season, averaging 3.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest.
As a freshman, he averaged 2.5 points and 2.6 boards in 32 games
with the Tigers.
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As a prep, Echols finished his
career at Morgan Park High School but never played in a game there.
As a teammate of current Redbird Marcus Arnold, Echols missed his
entire senior season with a knee injury. Prior to his senior
campaign, Echols was ranked by most recruiting services among the
nation's top 30 seniors.
Echols played his first three years of high school at Chicago
Whitney Young. As a junior, Echols averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds
and eight assists per game. He was also instrumental in Whitney
Young winning the IHSA Class AA state championship during his
[Todd Kober, director of
athletics media relations,
Illinois State University]