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Arkansas State forward Norchad Omier named 2021-22 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year

by Mitchell Gladstone | February 28, 2022 at 2:23 p.m.
Sophomore Norchad Omier averaged 17.2 points and 12.0 rebounds in 27 games for Arkansas State, helping the Red Wolves to a 17-10 record. (Courtesy of Arkansas State Athletics)

In not even two full seasons at Arkansas State, Norchad Omier has made plenty of history.

He’s the first Nicaraguan to play Division I men’s basketball. He matched the most Sun Belt Player of the Week honors in a season. Just last week, he turned in a 23-point, 15-rebound, five-block, five-steal performance against Coastal Carolina — a stat line unmatched in the last decade-plus.

Omier added to his remarkable collegiate career by claiming 2021-22 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year honors along with Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Sun Belt recognition. The sophomore is only the third player in league history to win Player and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season and he’s also only the third to follow a Freshman of the Year campaign with Player of the Year honors.

Omier is the third Red Wolf to win Sun Belt Player of the Year, joining Chico Fletcher (1997-98 and 1998-99) and Jeff Clifton (1993-94) And Omier, who was named to the All-Sun Belt first team in 2020-21 as well, becomes the first ASU player repeat as a first-team honoree since Jason Jennings accomplished the feat in 2000-01 and 2001-02.

The numbers alone tell the story of a remarkable season for the 6-7 forward. Omier averaged 17.2 points and 12.0 rebounds in 27 games for the Red Wolves, shooting nearly 65% from the field. Only Utah Valley’s Fardaws Aimaq is posting at least as many points and rebounds per game, and among players averaging at least 10 points and 10 rebounds, Omier is second nationally in Player Efficiency Rating at 34.4 — one spot behind likely National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky and one spot ahead of All-American Kofi Cockburn of Illinois.

In Sun Belt games, Omier ranked second in scoring (19.1), first in rebounding (13.3), first in field-goal percentage (63.4%), fifth in steals (1.7) and third in blocks (2.0). He also had 12 double-doubles in 15 league games and strung together 10 straight games with double-doubles between Dec. 19 and Feb. 3.

Omier is also the first underclassman to win the award since Georgia State’s D’Marcus Simonds did so in 2017-18, and Omier is only the 8th all-time to do so.

But he wasn’t the only ASU underclassman to grab conference honors Monday as Red Wolf guard Lauryn Pendleton was named Sun Belt Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Year. The Little Rock Central alum shot 40.0% from the field and 36.0% on three-pointers in her debut campaign while leading the Sun Belt in free-throw percentage at 84.1%.

University of Arkansas-Little Rock forward Sali Kourouma was a second-team member after leading the Trojans in scoring at 17.5 points per game, and UALR teammate Mayra Caicedo joined her as a third-team honoree — the second straight season in which Caicedo has been a third-team member. ASU forward Trinitee Jackson grabbed a third-team spot with Caicedo as well.


Player of the Year: Norchad Omier, Arkansas State

Defensive Player of the Year: Norchad Omier, Arkansas State

Freshman of the Year: Duke Deen, Troy

Newcomer of the Year: Efe Odigie, Troy

Sixth Man of the Year: Elijah McCadden, Georgia Southern

Coach of the Year: Terrence Johnson, Texas State

First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference

Adrian Delph, Appalachian State

Norchad Omier, Arkansas State

David Azore, Texas-Arlington

Caleb Asberry, Texas State

Efe Odigie, Troy

Second-Team All-Sun Belt Conference

Vince Cole, Coastal Carolina

Jordan Brown, Louisiana-Lafayette

Jay Jay Chandler, South Alabama

Charles Manning Jr., South Alabama

Mason Harrell, Texas State

Third-Team All-Sun Belt Conference

Corey Allen, Georgia State

Kane Williams, Georgia State

Kobe Julien, Louisiana-Lafayette

Andre Jones, Louisiana-Monroe

Javon Franklin, South Alabama 


Player of the Year: Starr Jacobs, Texas-Arlington

Defensive Player of the Year: Ty'Reona Doucet, Louisiana-Lafayette

Freshman of the Year: Lauryn Pendleton, Arkansas State

Newcomer of the Year: Alexia Allesch, Appalachian State

Sixth Woman of the Year: Terren Ward, Georgia Southern

Coach of the Year: Shereka Wright, Texas-Arlington

First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference

Aja Blount, Coastal Carolina

Ty'Reona Doucet, Louisiana-Lafayette

Starr Jacobs, Texas-Arlington

Da'Nasia Hood, Texas State

Felmas Koranga, Troy

Second-Team All-Sun Belt Conference

Alexia Allesch, Appalachian State

Sali Kourouma, University of Arkansas-Little Rock

Terren Ward, Georgia Southern

Terryn Milton, Texas-Arlington

Kennedy Taylor, Texas State

Third-Team All-Sun Belt Conference 

Janay Sanders, Appalachian State

Mayra Caicedo, University of Arkansas-Little Rock

Trinitee Jackson, Arkansas State

Makayia Hallmon, Louisiana-Lafayette

Kyren Whittington, Louisiana-Monroe

Amber Leggett, Troy


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