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Cliff Omoruyi & Caleb McConnell earn NBA G-League Elite Camp invites



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

Adam Zagoria of NJ Advance Media has confirmed that Caleb McConnell have been invited to compete in the NBA’s G-League Elite Camp. Zach Braziller of the New York Post previously confirmed that Cliff Omoruyi was invited as well. The showcase takes place on May 13-14 in Chicago, Illinois with many NBA personnel in attendance. While McConnell and Omoruyi did not receive invites to the more prestigious NBA Draft Combine, they have the opportunity to earn invites based on their performance at the G-League Elite Camp. The NBA Combine takes place in Chicago directly after from May 15-21.

McConnell was one of 64 players invited to play in Portsmouth Invitational Tournament last month. It’s a prestigious All-Star Tournament for college seniors that has been played for decades. Former NBA stars Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Tim Hardaway and John Stockton are PIT alumni. In three games overall, McConnell averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steal in 31.0 minutes per contest. A big plus was that he shot 16 of 29 from the floor for 55.2%. He was 3 of 10 for 30.0% from three-point range and just 2 of 5 (40.0%) from the foul line. One area McConnell needs to adjust to is the officiating at the pro level. He committed 14 fouls combined over three games. That is a natural development step for him to take as a pro defender.

The two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year Award winner averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 steals in 31.7 minutes per game last season. He shot 45.8% from two-point range, 20.3% from three-point range and 65.0% from the foul line. He finished his Rutgers career as the program’s all-time steals leader with 221, passing the great Eddie Jordan (220).

Omoruyi is currently going through the NBA Draft evaluation process. Zagoria also reported that Omoruyi has worked out for both the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics so far ahead of the G-League Elite Camp. The deadline for early entrants to withdraw from the NBA Draft is May 31. Cliff has two years of eligibility remaining and can still return to Rutgers. Although he signed with Octagon last month, he retains his eligibility as they are a NCAA certified agency.

He averaged 13.2 points , 9.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 30.3 minutes per game. In Big Ten play, Cliff was third in league action with 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. Overall, he shot 52.9% from two point range and 60.4% from the foul line. The former 4-star recruit was 22nd nationally with a 9.1% block rate and 1st in Big Ten play at 9.4%. He was also 52nd nationally with a 24.5% defensive rebounding rate and 126th with an 11.5% offensive rebounding rate. Omoruyi was named an All-Big Ten Defensive Team selection along with being named Second Team All-Big Ten by the media and Third Team All-Big Ten by the coaches. Cliff became the first player to lead Rutgers in scoring, rebounding and blocks this past season since Keith Hughes 32 years ago. He finished with 449 points this season, one more than teammate Cam Spencer for the team lead.

We will provide updates on McConnell and Omoruyi throughout the NBA Draft process.

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  1. thevinman

    May 5, 2023 at 11:47 am

    I didn’t realize that Cliff had 2 years of eligibility left. There is no way he stays in college 2 more year. I am beginning to feel he won’t come back at all and will become a PRO instead.

    • Aaron Breitman

      May 5, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Any player from 2020-2021 season has an extra year of eligibility due to the covid exception made by the NBA. Just stating the fact and agree very unlikely to stay two more years. What decides this month about next season remains to be seen.

    • BataliBoli98

      May 5, 2023 at 9:56 pm

      At this point in Cliff’s maturation he is a backup big man in the NBA helping a team as a rebounder who can block a few shots and score on put-backs. What will that make him? A multi-millionaire. I completely agree with you, I think he is going pro and I think he likely should. Cliff will almost certainly never be a polished offensive player. As I’ve said before he could become the next Mitchell Robinson which means he would make north of $13 million per season. I’m watching the 76ers game right now and he’s comparable to Paul Reed whose another multi-millionaire. Another year at RU likely just means a year that he doesn’t cash a very big check.

      • thevinman

        May 6, 2023 at 12:09 pm

        Cliff has to do what is best for him and his family. Whenever he decides to go I will be sad to see him leave, but I will thank him for coming to Rutgers and making it a respectable program again.

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