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Rapid Reaction Episode: Cliff Omoruyi is BACK at Rutgers



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

Episode No. 82 is my rapid reaction to Cliff Omoruyi withdrawing from the NBA Draft and RETURNING to Rutgers for next season. This is huge news for many reasons.

Last season, Omoruyi became the first player to lead Rutgers in scoring, rebounding and blocks since the great Keith Hughes did it 32 years prior. Cliff brings Rutgers balance on the court with his physical presence, rim defending ability and emphatic dunking. His athleticism is elite and he’s been nothing but an unselfish player his entire career.

Cliff averaged a team high 13.5 points on 51.5% shooting along with 9.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 30.3 minutes per game last season. In Big Ten play, Cliff was third in league action with 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. He 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. 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.

This episode includes how close Omoruyi came to leaving, the impact on the roster for next season, why Steve Pikiell deserves credit, the portal approach now and more.

Thanks for listening and watching once again to The Scarlet Faithful podcast, now in a daily format.



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  1. Biochemist01

    May 31, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    Great news on Cliff!

  2. pj43

    May 31, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    As Dean Martin once sang, “when the moon hits your eye like a bigga pizza pie, that’s Omoruyi”!  I think that breeze you may have felt today was a collective sigh of relief from Rutgers basketball fans.  I agree with Aaron’s take on Cliff’s return in his rapid reaction comments.

    For me, Cliff’s return allows for the continued development of Woolfolk without the pressure on Woolfolk to shoulder the role of “the big man” in an otherwise thin front court had Cliff not returned.  My prediction is that Woolfolk will play a major key role in any success RU has this coming season. Getting a shooter & big man through the transfer portal would, of course, be ideal.  But, the roster now in place gives cause for optimism.  Paul Mulcahy! Please come home and go out in the style that you deserve.

    • InPikeWeTrust

      May 31, 2023 at 10:00 pm

      Could not agree with you more, Wolf is our secret weapon. Gonna be one of the great parts of the next couple of seasons…watching him develop.

  3. BataliBoli98

    May 31, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    I have to admit that I am very pleasantly surprised. In fact, elated. No longer does Pikiell have to desperately try to find a legit starting big and can now hone in on shooters. I couldn’t agree more with PJ43 that this should propel Woolfork. I’ve long said that Wolf is, at least for now, a legit 4 and so he can now get some run in that spot while also getting to spar with Cliff in practice which can only make him better. Having a big like Cliff not only makes RU much more competitive in conference play, but it also makes it far less likely that they will slip up against weaker non-conference foes who have no one to match him in the paint. I also think that Cliff will excel in a more up-tempo offense that should be a hallmark of next year’s squad. A great day for RU…especially for people like me who went in on hoops season tickets about six weeks ago. Go RU!

  4. thevinman

    June 1, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Great freaking news!! I am sure Cliff came back to work on improving his offensive game, such as adding a better jump hook and short jumper. Looking forward to seeing how much he develops this season.

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