A big part of next season’s success for the Rutgers men’s basketball team will be tied to the development of big man Cliff Omoruyi. The rising sophomore and former top 50 recruit showcased his vast potential at times last season despite an uneven campaign partly plagued by an extended absence due to injury. The good news this offseason is that Omoruyi has been putting in a lot of work on his game.
Omoruyi is currently trying out for the Nigerian men’s basketball team ahead of next month’s Olympics. While he is one of the younger players attempting to make the final roster, Omoruyi has made a positive impression so far.
On Monday, Rutgers basketball tweeted a video of Nigerian head coach Mike Brown praising the work that Omoruyi has put in during tryouts over the past few days. Brown is the former head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. He has been an assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors the past five years and was part of back to back NBA titles won by the Warriors in 2017 and 2018.
As for feedback on Omoruyi, Brown called him “a pleasant surprise”. His full comments are here:
Our own Cliff Omoruyi has been participating in the Nigerian Basketball Team's Olympic Training Camp, and @wizcliff77's play has made former NBA head coach and current @FriendsOfNB coach Mike Brown take notice! pic.twitter.com/1byOcwwn3y— Rutgers Basketball (@RutgersMBB) June 28, 2021
The Benin City native of Nigeria is looking to build off a freshman season in which he averaged 3.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per game. With the departure of Myles Johnson, Omoruyi will be counted on to make a major impact next season. Playing for the Nigerian basketball team during the Olympics would be a tremendous opportunity to develop as a player this summer. Even if he doesn’t make the final roster, being in a national team training camp is a great experience for him and help grow his game long term. Once the final roster is announced for Nigeria, we will update Omoruyi’s status here.