Chris Jans and the Mississippi State men’s basketball team did a pretty solid job of limiting the sort of impact that one of the best big men in the Big Ten could possibly have on the game Saturday afternoon.
While it wasn’t technically a road game, the Bulldogs were away from Starkville and Humphrey Coliseum and Jans’ Mississippi State basketball team had the delightful pleasure of taking on Clifford Omoruyi. But, because of the way the Bulldogs were able to focus in on Omoruyi, it seems like they were well prepared to handle the center for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
“He just affects the game so much. He can do a little bit of everything, obviously. His rim protection, not just him, but their team. They’ve got great athletes. They’ve got a lot of pride. They wear it on their sleeves the way they play,” Jans explained.
Mississippi State got a 70-60 win over Rutgers. And in the contest, Omoruyi only scored three points and he only played 20 minutes. Due to foul trouble and the way the Bulldogs were able to limit him, Omoruyi didn’t snag a single rebound.
The Bulldogs really planned well for him.
"He had a lot to do with how we game planned and how we tried to prepare to play this game," Jans said during his postgame press conference when he was asked about Omoruyi.
It’s pretty clear the sort of danger that Omoruyi can do in any given game. He’s a ferocious shot blocker and he does well to grab rebounds with ease. But on Saturday, Omoruyi wasn’t really much of a factor as the Bulldogs got their win.
Mississippi State basketball: Bulldogs nullified Clifford Omoruyi’s impact on Saturday
While the Bulldogs weren’t solely focused on Omoruyi, they were aware of the threat he provides Rutgers.
“Certainly, we didn’t just talk about Omoruyi, but he had a lot to do with how we game
planned and how we tried to prepare to play this game,” Jans said.
And those early fouls that Omoruyi likely would love to have back really put the Scarlet Knights in a weird position. Mississippi State was able to get Rutgers off balance when Omoruyi had to sit down due to foul trouble in the first half.
“Certainly, him getting two early fouls, is tough for them. It got them out of rhythm a little bit, but
they survived it,” Jans explained.
Still, the Bulldogs were able to nullify Omoruyi’s strengths. And as Mississippi State did that, the Bulldogs also ultimately neutralized Rutgers’ biggest weapon early on in this game. Credit to Chris Jans and the Bulldogs for pulling that feat off.