Reinforcements are on the way.
Just when Rutgers basketball concluded its summer workouts with a depleted, 10-man team, head coach Steve Pikiell adds No. 11. Rutgers hosted 6-foot-6 2016 wing Eugene Omoruyi from Orangeville (Ont.) Prep during its August camp series, and it ended officially Wednesday evening with a commitment.
“I'm ready right now,” said Omoruyi, who officially enrolls at the end of the month. “... It wasn't a hard decision. We spoke with coach Pikiell and his staff and they're focused on academics and on basketball. We take academics really seriously. They said they're looking for a high motor that can pick up the team and bring an intense attitude. That's me.”
An 11th scholarship player was a must for Pikiell in preparation for his first season.
Omoruyi spoke with Pikiell about playing small forward and shooting guard as an instant contributor.
“They talked about my role and me coming in to be an impact player right away,” Omoruyi. “That means a lot to me. I work so hard, I believe I can go against Michigan and Michigan State right now and not be scared. With my motor, I believe that no one can stop me. I believe that my motor affects everybody on the team. Me getting hype gets us hype.”
Omoruyi does not only get hype but stays hype on the court in what he hopes becomes contagious for his new teammates.
“The guys are really cool,” he said. “Rutgers is a family-based team. That means a lot to me when it comes to playing basketball. Guys are all brothers. As for the coaching staff, they like to push everyone to the limit. I like being challenged, so I'm ready for them to challenge me.”
When Omoruyi says he is serious about academics, it's more than lip service. Omoruyi himself has interest in both engineering and business, and will explored Rutgers opportunities with academic advisers before he picks a path.
“My mom's family has three medical doctors and a lot of nurses and we''re a family based on honor-roll students,” Omoruyi said. “Academics are very serious to me and my mom. We had to find a school like Rutgers that has the right fit with academics and basketball.”
Between Omoruyi's addition and last week's 2017 commitment from guard Geo Baker, Rutgers could be down to one more spot in recruiting with no seniors on scholarship.