May 25, 2024

Rutgers center Clifford Omoruyi to transfer to Alabama men’s basketball

The Alabama men’s basketball program added another transfer on Sunday — and it’s a big one, both literally and figuratively.

Clifford Omoruyi, a 6-foot-11, 240-pound center, announced that he is joining the Crimson Tide for his final season of eligibility. Omoruyi — pronounced O-MOR-EE — spent the last four years at Rutgers.

A native of Benin City, Nigeria, Omoruyi played in 121 games for the Scarlet Knights over the last four seasons, with 104 starts. He started each of the last 98 games in which he played over the last three seasons. He averaged 10.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 26 minutes per game.

Alabama men’s basketball 2024 transfer portal, NBA draft tracker

This past season, Omoruyi averaged 10.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, on 51.4% shooting, and 2.9 blocks over 26.9 minutes per game. He played in and started all 32 games. Rutgers went 15-17. He was twice named to the All-Big Ten Defensive Team and was previously a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given annually to the nation’s best center.

Before joining Rutgers, Omoruyi was considered a 4-star prospect and a top-100 recruit in the 2020 recruiting class by 247Sports. After entering the transfer portal, he was considered the No. 13 overall prospect, and No. 3 center, in the transfer portal, out of more than 350 total portal prospects, by 247.

Omoruyi fills a major need for an ascending Alabama program.

In five years under head coach Nate Oats, the Crimson Tide have posted a 117-54 overall record, have twice won the SEC regular season title, twice won the SEC tournament championship, reached the Sweet 16 three times, and the Final Four once.

This past season, Alabama went 25-12 and reached the Final Four for the first time in school history. The Tide did it largely without an imposing post presence, cycling through Grant Nelson, Nick Pringle, and Mo Wague after both Noah Clowney and Charles Bediako left for the NBA following the 2022-23 season.

Pringle and Wague have both left via the transfer portal (Pringle is headed to South Carolina; Wague hasn’t decided yet), making room for Omoruyi. He is the fourth transfer addition for Alabama, along with Aden Holloway (from Auburn), Chris Youngblood (South Florida), and Houston Mallette (Pepperdine).

Those transfer additions will join Alabama’s 2024 recruiting class, which includes four top-50 prospects: SF Derrion Reid, No. 15 overall; PF Aiden Sherrell, No. 30; PG Labaron Philon, No. 32; and SF Naas Cunningham, No. 43. That four-man class is ranked No. 2 nationally in 247Sports’s 2024 national recruiting class rankings.

In 2022-23, Alabama won 31 games and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. The Tide lost five of their top six scorers, mined the transfer portal for mid-major talent, and reached the first Final Four in school history the following season.

Now Alabama is putting together another talented roster for the 2024-25 season — one that’s capable of taking the program to even bigger and better heights.

Cody Goodwin covers the Alabama Crimson Tide for 247Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.