Kentucky remains in the running for one of the top center prospects in the class of 2020.
This afternoon, 2020 four-star center Cliff Omoruyi cut his list to eight, leaving Kentucky, Memphis, NC State, Miami (FL), Connecticut, Auburn, Rutgers, and Arizona State as those left in contention.
Omoruyi, who plays at Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, NJ, is currently listed as a consensus top-55 recruit, with 247Sports having him ranked the highest at No. 42 overall.
|Cliff Omoruyi (2020)
Center| 6-11 | 230 lbs.
Roselle, NJ | Roselle Catholic
AAU: New York Lightning
|ESPN||No. 48 | 8 C||Top247||No. 42 | 8 C|
|Rivals||No. 55 | 8 C||247 Comp.||No. 48 | 8 C|
Kentucky offered Omoruyi back in April, with the four-star prospect originally out of Nigeria telling KSR in June that UK was his “dream school” growing up.
“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.”
At the time, KSR was told that Omoruyi was “emotional” upon receiving an offer from John Calipari and the UK program. For a player that has had such a long journey to get where he is now, it was certainly special to hold a scholarship from one of the most prestigious schools in college basketball history.
When it comes to his meeting with Calipari for the first time on April 12, 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 said with a smile. “They told me it was some coach, but I started screaming a lot when [I realized it was Coach Cal.] I went crazy.”
After Calipari’s initial visit, the Kentucky head coach visited Omoruyi again on June 30, followed by another trip to see him on October 10. UK assistant coach Tony Barbee also visited the 6-foot-11, 230-pound center on September 17.
Earlier this month, Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader spoke to Rivals’ Corey Evans, who said that the four-star center is close with Kentucky signee Devin Askew and that the five-star guard’s commitment will likely help with Omoruyi.
“There actually is a background there between Devin [Askew] and Cliff [Omoruyi]. They played (in a camp) and developed a quick rapport,” Evans said. “That’s kind of gone under the radar a bit, but I think getting a guy like Devin really helps with a guy like Cliff.”
Kentucky has received signatures from Askew, along with five-star guards Terrence Clarke and BJ Boston, five-star forward Isaiah Jackson, and four-star forwards Lance Ware and Cam’Ron Fletcher in the class of 2020. Jackson and Ware are UK’s lone signings in the frontcourt.
With Kentucky expected to lose all three of EJ Montgomery, Nick Richards, and Nate Sestina this summer, along with the fact that Calipari and the UK coaching staff pushed for the likes of Kerry Blackshear Jr., N’Faly Dante, and Jaden McDaniels last offseason, the Wildcats will likely look to add two more pieces in the frontcourt.
Will Omoruyi be one of them?