Sun Belt announces 2021-22 men’s basketball preseason honors

Published 2:01 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021

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Arkansas State freshman forward Norchad Omier was dubbed the 2021-22 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year to headline the league’s preseason honors announced Thursday. A vote of the conference’s 12 head coaches determined the Preseason Player of the Year and Preseason All-Sun Belt Teams.

Omier was the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and an All-Sun Belt First Team honoree in 2020-21, after finishing the season averaging 12.6 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. He joined Michael Beasley (Kansas State), Paul Millsap (Louisiana Tech) and Adonal Foyle (Colgate) as the only freshmen since the 1992-93 season to average at least 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Bluefields, Nicaragua, native finished second in the nation with 15 double-doubles and 19 games with double-digit rebounds in 2020-21. Omier spent his summer with the Nicaragua National Team, competing in six games in FIBA World Cup 2023 Americas Pre-Qualifiers. He averaged 15.0 points and 11.8 rebounds in international competition.

The Sun Belt also announced the Preseason All-Sun Belt First, Second and Third Teams. Joining Omier on the Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team were App State senior guard Justin Forrest, Georgia State senior guard Corey Allen, Louisiana junior forward Theo Akwuba and Texas State senior guard Mason Harrell.

Georgia State and Texas State paced all Sun Belt programs with three preseason honorees, while Arkansas State and Louisiana also had multiple players selected.

Sun Belt Conference play commences on Thursday, Dec. 30. Teams will play an 18-game conference schedule that will culminate with all 12 teams competing in the 2022 Sun Belt Men’s Basketball Championship at the Pensacola Bay Center in Pensacola, Fla., from March 2-7, 2022.

2021-22 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Awards 
Preseason Player of the Year
Norchad Omier, Arkansas State (Fr., F – Bluefields, Nicaragua)

Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team  
Justin Forrest, App State (Sr., G – Decatur, Ga.)
Norchad Omier, Arkansas State (Fr., F – Bluefields, Nicaragua)
Corey Allen, Georgia State (Sr., G – Ypsilanti, Mich.)
Theo Akwuba, Louisiana (Jr., F – Montgomery, Ala.)
Mason Harrell, Texas State (Sr., G – Midwest City, Okla.)

Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team 
Marquis Eaton, Arkansas State (Sr., G – Helena, Ark.)
Eliel Nsoseme, Georgia State (Sr., F – Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Kane Williams, Georgia State (Sr., G – Douglasville, Ga.)
David Azore, UTA (Gr., G – Houston, Texas)
Caleb Asberry, Texas State (Sr., G – Pflugerville, Texas)

Preseason All-Sun Belt Third Team
Nikola Maric, Little Rock (Sr., F – Trebinje, Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Essam Mostafa, Coastal Carolina (RS So., C – Cairo, Egypt)
Jordan Brown, Louisiana (So. F – Roseville, Calif.)
Isiah Small, Texas State (Sr., F – Jersey City, N.J.)
Nick Stampley, Troy (Sr., F – Broward County, Fla.)

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