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Episode No. 71: Will Cliff Omoruyi return to Rutgers?



Photo credit Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Episode No. 71 focuses on Cliff Omoruyi and his performance at the G League Elite Camp as well as what it means for his future.

Whether Omoruyi returns to Rutgers or not remains to be seen. The sentiment by some fans that Cliff is a lock to return to Piscataway for next season is not how I view the situation.

It’s wrong to assume he’ll return to Rutgers simply because he didn’t get an invite to the NBA Draft Combine. This isn’t only about being drafted. It’s true that it seems unlikely he would be one of 60 players selected on draft night. However, there could be multiple options for Omoruyi to consider before the May 31 deadline to withdraw.

Omoruyi stands out for his athleticism, his physical tools and measurables, his endless motor and work ethic. He’s raw but he’s also coachable. At 21, Omoruyi has played a lot less than most players trying to make the NBA right now.

Teams know this and value certain tangible skills he offers. Cliff could be a weapon with the pick and roll, is projected to be a capable rebounder at the next level and defend multiple positions.

Could he end up in the G League on a two-way deal with an NBA team? Could he end up with multiple overseas? I think both are very possible. I hope he returns to Rutgers as much as anyone, but it’s not smart to assume he will.

At the end of the day, Cliff will have options and he needs to make whatever decision is best for him. And no one can tell you right now which way he is leaning. The process has two plus weeks to play out. As Tom Petty sings, “the waiting is the hardest part.”

Monday’s episode is out late due to Mother’s Day and my daughter’s birthday. Family first, Rutgers takes second. Check back Tuesday for another episode. Thanks for listening and watching my podcast once again.



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  1. Henry Rutgers

    May 16, 2023 at 6:51 am

    I read the morning news without the sound turned on. Apologies but I did not listen to the podcast but did read the article. I think, once again, you’ve distilled the noise down to a reasonable set of likely outcomes. I’d add one wrinkle. He could be advised by NBA scouts to return to NCAA basketball for another year to make it to the 60 draft selections but at another school. I am not suggesting or supporting that option but for his stock to really improve he’d need specialized coaching. We’ve an opening or two on the staff. We should be considering a coach that has experience developing NBA big men. If we’re prepared to invest in him it might be the enticement, he needs to come back to the Banks for one more exciting year.

  2. pj43

    May 16, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    Thorough evaluation, Aaron. I’ve thought all along that Cliff will probably not be drafted and felt his best option would be to return to Rutgers for another year of experience and, hopefully, further development on both ends of the court. But, Aaron has made a persuasive argument that perhaps he could develop better in the G league or overseas and get paid while doing it. It’s been my opinion that Cliff has not been developed offensively as well as he could/should have been thus far at Rutgers. I’m not privy to the why of that. There’s no argument that he possesses elite athleticism, which has made it more frustrating for me to observe the lack of development particularly when it comes to footwork and other fundamentals of the game, e.g ball handling. So, it will be interesting to learn what feedback he’s gotten and what is being recommended to him. Frankly, I’m becoming more inclined to think it may be in his best interests developmentally not to return to Rutgers. Selfishly, I hope he does return and benefits from it.

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