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2020 four-star center Cliff Omoruyi cuts Kentucky from list

Photo: Jody Demling/247Sports

Photo: Jody Demling/247Sports

Another frontcourt target for John Calipari and the Kentucky coaching staff is off the table.

On Tuesday evening, 2020 four-star center Cliff Omoruyi announced his final three schools, leaving Kentucky out of the running in the process.

The finalists? Arizona State, Auburn, and Rutgers.

Omoruyi, a 6-foot-11 center out of Roselle, NJ, is considered the No. 41 prospect in the 2020 247Sports Composite Rankings and was one of just two prospects remaining in the senior class with an offer from Kentucky.

This past summer, Kentucky was seen as the overwhelming favorite in Omoruyi’s recruitment, with multiple sources telling KSR that the four-star prospect was likely headed to Lexington if Calipari truly wanted him there.

In an interview with KSR at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, VA, Omoruyi said that Kentucky was his “dream school” as a child growing up in Nigeria.

“I was happy [to receive an offer] because Kentucky was one of my dream schools growing up,” he said. “Like when I was back in Nigeria, I used to hear most about Kentucky.”

When it comes to his first meeting with Calipari for the first time, Omoruyi said he couldn’t contain his excitement, screaming and jumping up and down when the Kentucky head coach came to his school.

“Yeah, that was my first time meeting him in person,” the four-star big man told KSR. “They told me it was some coach, but I started screaming a lot when [I realized it was Coach Cal.] I went crazy.”

Now, 2020 top-ten prospect Greg Brown remains as the lone target for Calipari and the UK coaching staff currently in the senior class.

In an interview with Sam Webb of 247Sports, Brown’s father, Greg Brown Sr., had high praise for Calipari and the Kentucky basketball program.

“Like I told Coach (Tony) Barbee before we went to Kentucky, I thought of (Calipari) as more of a ‘me’ coach (as in) ‘look at me.’ You know… all about him as a coach,” Brown Sr. told 247Sports. “Then when we went down on the visit, man I love Cal. I literally love Cal.  Cal holds them kids accountable.  The problem that I see with a lot of the kids these days is nobody has ever held them accountable.  So, they don’t know how to respond to Cal.  They think he’s getting on them all the time… which, he is getting on your (behind), holding you accountable to do what the hell he needs you to do so ya’ll can win games.  Because if you win at Kentucky, you’re probably going to be a top pick.   But you gotta do what he’s asking you to do.”

Outside of Brown, Kentucky will have to explore the graduate transfer ranks or push for a reclassification from a high-profile prospect in 2021.

Back in February, the NCAA also announced it is considering a rule change that would allow Division I athletes – on a one-time basis – to transfer to any school of their choosing without restriction starting in the 2020-21 academic year. This could also open the door for Kentucky essentially hand-picking an elite transfer in the frontcourt as early as this summer.

The options are technically dwindling in the senior class, but Calipari and his staff have the opportunity to close out 2020 with another strong piece or two in the frontcourt.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

24 Comments for 2020 four-star center Cliff Omoruyi cuts Kentucky from list



  1. LouisaCatFan
    1:48 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

    The one time transfer that you write about, could hurt KY more than it helps.



    • Newtype
      2:43 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      Must suck always having a glass that’s half empty.



    • TonyMontana
      5:07 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      The truth is Kentucky cut him from our list a long time ago. We’re looking to get Greg Brown & quite frankly there’s a few guys in 2021 that we want more and we will get at least one of them to reclassify and join the #BBN.



    • ColoradoCatFan88
      5:10 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      Spot on Tony



    • friendsofcoal
      8:38 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      It will hurt us more than help because I don’t believe Coach Cal would ever snag a guy from another coach.



    • dcforuk
      11:27 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      I agree generally but if a player made it publicly known of his intent to xfer first, then I believe Cal would consider it



  2. secrick
    2:12 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

    Ok that’s it Cal can not recruit.



  3. VirginiaCat
    2:18 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

    I wonder what changed his mind? I am beginning to think that recruits are privy to a “hallway file” on Cal and the program that is hurting us.



  4. Newtype
    2:42 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

    UK didn’t belong on a list with those schools anyway.



  5. Headhurts
    2:44 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

    Backup plan recruit.



  6. kybirdieman
    3:37 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

    Guess he saw too much of Carl’s screaming and ranting on the sideline, plus the huge development of EJ and Nick over the years.



    • 4everUKBlue
      4:08 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      Yeah I’ll bet that’s it, damn you’re so smart.



    • Big Sexy
      4:36 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      You don’t think Nick hasn’t developed well over the first two years? Really? Seems like someone is in love with one and done players too much.



    • mashburnfan1
      8:05 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      Nick was a lottery to top 20 pick in the draft coming out of high school but of course was not eligible for the draft. After two years of your so-called developing under Coach Cal the NBA did not want him. Now in the third year of your so-called developing he is about a 50th pick. My main concern is it seems like every recruit who says Kentucky is their dream school we never seem to get



    • Big Sexy
      1:29 am March 5, 2020 Permalink

      So you’re going to tell me in a class with Marvin Bagley, Michael Porter, Mohamed Bamba, DeAndre Ayton, and Wendell Cater, all big men ranked ahead of Richards….Richards was a lottery pick? He was ranked 17-18 in his class. Yet he was going to leap frog all these guys ahead of him, college players, and player overseas to be a lottery pick. I think it’s safe to say if he had gone straight to the NBA he wouldn’t have lasted long. I think you just make stuff up to try to make Cal look bad. If he was that good he would’ve been a stud from day one.



  7. StuckinLville
    3:54 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

    Or maybe it’s because Cal has probably been telling him to hold off and he feels like he’s not a priority. I have a feeling he is not. Cal is trying to get Banchero to reclassify. And to be honest, we dont just need a body for the sake of adding a body. We need talent. It is kind of surprising considering Askew really wanted to play with him.



    • b2h3slin
      4:06 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      This kid will probably end up at Auburn…with Greg Brown after he leads Cal on and commits, and Jalen Green who we basically stopped recruiting after getting Clarke



    • ColoradoCatFan88
      5:13 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      Yea I’m still not happy about us cutting Green off. In my opinion, he’s the best player in high school basketball & will be an absolute monster wherever he goes. Could lead Auburn to another final four, especially if they get Brown to play alongside him



    • b2h3slin
      7:54 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      Green is definitely going to be a stud wherever, but I don’t think he’s better than Cade.



  8. 4everUKBlue
    4:06 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

    I heard on The Tom Leach Report that he wanted a visit and never got one, that Cal was never all in on him. For some reason Cal didn’t show enough interest.



    • Bluehender
      4:21 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe they like Greg Brown more?



  9. Big Sexy
    5:03 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

    With a good possibility of 3 bigs coming back and two others already on the way, he could think it would be too crowded of a front court.



  10. blueblood80
    7:17 pm March 4, 2020 Permalink

    I sure hope Greg Brown does not become a Wildcat. Why?
    With him you get his overbearing “Lonzo Ball” type Dad. Then when he doesn’t get his way, he’ll become that CRYBABY distraction we dont need. And from what I saw last night, this A. Hagans team is already disrupted and distracted at the worst possible time.



  11. BobbyBlue
    2:25 pm March 5, 2020 Permalink

    Yeah it is so strange that Cal suddenly hasn’t a clue how to recruit. !!
    Too bad he doesn’t have any openings for some of the gurus on here after every loss.