Rutgers needs a great influx of talent and depth. They're likely three years from moving up the Big Ten standings, but even that timetable can change quickly, depending on recruiting classes and how their young talent develops. Rutgers has a new coach of course, Steve Pikiell. The hope is that he invigorates the program. And, Rutgers needs that for sure. (They've been teetering between apathy and depression as a basketball program.)
So, now on to some good news for Rutgers. Eugene Omoruyi signed his letter of intent to play for Pikiell and the Scarlet Knights. Omoruyi's not a blue chip recruit, but by most accounts, he's a really solid wing, who'll be a good contributor.
On Verbal Commits.com, Omoruyi is listed as a 2-star recruit. He's 6'6", and listed as a 2-star recruit on Verbal Commits.com. Omoruyi actually hails from Orangeville Prep in Canada where, according to the Rutgers press release, he played with NBA rookies Thon Maker and Jamal Murray.
Interestingly, in the same release, it mentions that Omoruyi has only been playing basketball since the 10th grade, making the transition from soccer. (Not to draw too stark of comparisons, but plenty of NBA superstars have made the transition from soccer to basketball: Hakeem Olajuwon, Steve Nash.) Enough with the ridiculous comparisons, let's take a look at his skills more specifically.
There's a lot to like about Omoruyi. It's evident he's a bit raw, but it's also evident that he has talent and potential. For how little he's played competitive basketball though, he's pretty skilled already.
Offensively, he's more than just a straight line driver, and can finish well around the rim. More impressively, Omoruyi can go right or left and finish with either hand (with strength). He's a creative finisher too, who can adapt to the help defense and still ultimately get to the rim.
He'll be on the wing more at the next level, and his driving ability will help him transition to more of a perimeter game. (It's not like he played with his back to the basket in high school, but it'll be different on the perimeter in college.) He's also a pretty good shooter, or at least demonstrates a capable and credible jumper, and he can handle the ball a bit.
Now, they're just highlights, but Omoruyi appears to play with a passion and fire. Earlier, I mentioned apathy and the Rutgers basketball program in the same sentence. Rutgers needs good basketball players, who play with a passion and won't back down from a challenge. Omoruyi looks like that type of player.
Watching a bit of film, it looks like he's a good, but not great athlete. He can absolutely finish above the rim, but his athletic ability doesn't jump off the screen. (Not that he'll have a problem at the next level, or that he's not a good enough athlete to play Big Ten basketball.)
Defensively, and general basketball intelligence on that end, is the other area where he'll need more development and coaching. Omoruyi hasn't played competitive basketball for that long, so he'll need to learn Pikiell's defensive concepts and build his general basketball intelligence.
Eugene Omoruyi isn't a program changing recruit, at least not immediately. But, he's a great piece, particularly for a program that desperately needs talent and depth. He will help Rutgers basketball, maybe not next year, but at some point. And today, we can put one in the win column for Rutgers basketball, at least a step in a positive direction.