NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18: Cliff Omoruyi loosk on during the SLAM Summer Classic 2018 at Dyckman Park on August 18, 2018 in New York City.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

After a program-redefining season in 2019-20, Rutgers basketball is poised for future success with top-50 recruit Cliff Omoruyi.

Rutgers basketball coach Steve Pikiell is building something special in Piscataway, NJ. After the team’s 2019-20 season was cut short by the coronavirus outbreak, Pikiell is already cleaning up on the recruiting trail.

On Sunday, the Scarlet Knights landed one of the best recruits in program history—Cliff Omoruyi.

“To Rutgers, to Rutgers University,” he told Adam Zagoria of NJ Advance Media. “I’m familiar with the coaches, the staff, as well as the players and they’ve been there since my freshman year.”

Omoruyi is a phenomenal recruit, ranking in the top 50 of ESPN and 247sports class of 2020 rankings. The 6-foot-10 big man is staying in New Jersey after playing his high school ball for Roselle Catholic.

“The coronavirus helped me with my decision because it made me realize I don’t want to go too far away and be away from the people that care about me,” he said.

Auburn and Arizona State were the other two schools in the running after Omoruyi previously eliminated UConn and Kentucky from his list.

What does this mean for Rutgers? Well, for one, the Scarlet Knights aren’t used to attracting blue-chip prospects in basketball. Perhaps this is the start of something bigger for the Big Ten school.

After taking Stony Brook to the NCAA Tournament in 2016, Pikiell left the Seawolves for a daunting rebuild in Rutgers. After three consecutive losing seasons, Pikiell lifted the Scarlet Knights to a winning record for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

It’s safe to say that things are looking up in Piscataway.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.