Is Mississippi State basketball ready to battle Rutgers' Clifford Omoruyi?

As the Mississippi State basketball team meets up with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the Bulldogs will need to account for Clifford Omoruyi. Are they ready for that?
Dec 16, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights center Clifford Omoruyi (11)
Dec 16, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights center Clifford Omoruyi (11) / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest storylines for the Mississippi State men’s basketball game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights happens to be one of the most important matchup mismatches the Bulldogs will have to account for in this neutral site contest.

Rutgers center Clifford Omoruyi has been nearly unstoppable in the Scarlet Knights’ frontcourt. Omoruyi has been a force inside early this season, averaging absolutely gaudy numbers. So far this season, Omoruyi has been averaging 11.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game. That’s tough to contend with, especially when considering how Tolu Smith is still injured. 

Omoruyi, an athletic 6-11 junior, is a load to handle and that means the Bulldogs are going to be busy trying to keep track of him. How will Mississippi State fare as Jimmy Bell Jr. and Cameron Matthews get the distinct pleasure of facing off against one of the Big Ten’s best big men?

Mississippi State men’s basketball: How can Bulldogs account for Clifford Omoruyi?

Both Bell and Matthews are reliable and solid options when it comes to rebounding, but Omoruyi is remarkable. The Bulldogs will need to ensure their frontcourt avoids silly fouls as State can’t afford to suffer any sort of setback in terms of depth.

Obviously Mississippi State men’s basketball fans would feel a lot better about trying to contend with Omoruyi if Smith were healthy, but maybe Bell will be able to slow him down? In Rutgers’ last game, Omoruyi managed to post a career-high 25 points. He’s just a tough man to slow down if you’ve got depth issues in your front court. 

How will Chris Jans attack Omoruyi? Can the Bulldogs consistently score as he’s part of a defense that is averaging over six blocks a game and he himself is blocking 3.7 shots per game? 

There are a lot of questions to ask about this potential matchup and it’ll be fascinating to see how the Bulldogs try to account for Rutgers’ star center.