Cliff Omoruyi is expected to take the next step and become one of the best big men in the nation this season. He has established himself as an elite player in the Big Ten and was honored as such on Friday.
The Scarlet Knight center was selected to the 2023-24 Preseason All-Big Ten team. He is the third Rutgers player to receive this honor, joining Ron Harper Jr. (2021-22) and Geo Baker (2020-21).
Omoruyi tested the waters of the 2023 NBA Draft but ultimately decided toreturn for his fourth year in Piscataway.
“I’m super excited for the team this year,” Omoruyi said in a press release. “Being a leader alongside Aundre (Hyatt) and Mawot (Mag) and Oskar (Palmquist) is exciting. We all want to win. We want to put game balls and trophies in Coach (Steve) Pikiell’s office. We have a goal of winning the Big Ten Championship and personally, I want to be the best player I can be for my teammates.”
Last season, Omoruyi set new career-highs averaging 13.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. He shot 50.7% from the field and was 15th in the nation with 72 blocks.
“This is a really good team, and I can’t wait for the fans to see what we got,” Omoruyi said. “We have a fast-paced team, and we can shoot the ball better than we did last year.”
Rutgers added speed and shooting ability to its rotation this year. The offense is expected to be explosive and Omoruyi leads the way as one of the best overall athletes in college basketball.
2023-24 Preseason All-Big Ten Team
Boo Buie, Northwestern
Zach Edey, Purdue (Preseason Player of the Year)
Dawson Garcia, Minnesota
A.J. Hoggard, Michigan State
Cliff Omoruyi, Rutgers
Julian Resse, Maryland
Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois
Keisei Tominaga, Nebraska
Tyson Walker, Michigan State
Jahmir Young, Maryland