On Thursday, Rutgers center Cliff Omoruyi was named to the Preseason All-Big Ten Team for a second straight year. He was one of ten players selected by the media ahead of the 2023-2024 season.
Last season, 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. After declaring for the NBA Draft as an early entrant back in March, Cliff Omoruyi announced his return to Rutgers on the final day to withdraw on May 31.
“We are first thankful he came back and that he came back to graduate being a Dean’s List student,” head coach Steve Pikiell said at Rutgers media day earlier this week. “He’s starting to handle the ball, shoot it better, and become a more vocal leader on the court. The NBA workouts were very beneficial for him taking the feedback that he got and he worked really hard at it. He’s going to mean a lot to our program, our university because of the type of kid he is.”
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.
His impact on the program has been immense and will be the No. 1 target on opponent’s scouting reports this season. Omoruyi spoke about his motivation for returning and his goals for this season in an interview below with The Scarlet Faithful.
Here is the complete Preseason All-Big Ten Team for the 2023-2024 season.
Terrence Shannon Jr., ILL (Unanimous)
Julian Reese, MD
Jahmir Young, MD (Unanimous)
Dawson Garcia, MINN
A.J. Hoggard, MSU
Tyson Walker, MSU
Keisei Tominaga, NEB
Boo Buie, NU (Unanimous)
Zach Edey, PUR (Unanimous)
Clifford Omoruyi, RUT
2023-24 Media Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year
Zach Edey, Purdue
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