UM starters Wooga Poplar, Norchad Omier enter transfer portal. Omier also exploring NBA

University of Miami guard Wooga Poplar is entering the transfer portal, as is power forward Norchad Omier, who had declared for the NBA Draft but decided on Thursday to enter the portal as a backup plan, according to multiple sources.

Omier, who led the Hurricanes with 17 points and 10 rebounds, hired an NCAA certified agent, so if he does not get the NBA feedback he hopes for, he would have the option to return to college basketball, where he would likely land a lucrative NIL deal. Sources close to Omier said when he entered his name in the NBA Draft that he had no intention of returning to college, but he changed his mind.

On April 9, when Omier announced he was leaving for the draft, he posted this message on social media:

“These last two years at UM have been a blessing and I have cherished every moment wearing proudly my orange and green No. 15 uniform,” Omier posted on Instagram. “To my teammates, I’m thankful to have bonds that goes beyond the court. I’m a Hurricane forever and will forever be grateful to Coach L and his entire staff for all the lessons, the support, the encouragement and for making me feel appreciated in this beautiful city.

“I am ready to continue this journey, and after long consideration and prayer, I have decided to declare for the 2024 NBA Draft.”

The Nicaraguan fan favorite was a second-team All-ACC selection. At 6-7 and 240 pounds, he ranked second in the ACC in rebounds per game behind North Carolina’s 6-11 Armando Bacot and second in Player Efficiency Rating at 26.8 behind Virginia Tech’s Lynn Kidd (27.6), who just transferred to Miami.

Omier also won the prestigious 2023-24 Skip Prosser Award, presented annually to the top scholar-athlete in ACC men’s basketball.

Poplar averaged 13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists last season.

Poplar, the 6-5 Philadelphia native, entered the season with much hype after elevating his game during the Hurricanes’ Final Four run in 2023.

“He will leave people’s mouths open,” forward Norchad Omier said at the time. “I think he will be the breakout player of the ACC.”

“He’s phenomenal, definitely an NBA prospect,” coach Jim Larranaga said in his preseason remarks. “His pull-up jump shot is as good as any NBA player.”

He lived up to the buzz early in the season.

Through the first three games he averaged 20.7 points per game, 57.1 percent shooting, 70 percent shooting from three-point range (57.1 percent overall), and 14 three-pointers made, which tied for second in the nation at the time.

But he injured his ankle Dec. 29 against North Florida and struggled to get back to peak form. Known for his high-flying dunks, he was more cautious in the air for weeks after the injury.

With Poplar’s departure, the only key player remaining from the Final Four team is guard Nijel Pack, who announced that he will return for a fifth season.

Others who transferred are Bensley Joseph (Providence), Jakai Robinson, Michael Nwoko (Mississippi State), AJ Casey (St. Louis University) and Christian Watson.

Matt Cleveland, who transferred to UM from FSU last year, plans to return, and the Hurricanes added 6-10 Virginia Tech transfer Lynn Kidd and 6-8 East Carolina transfer Brandon Johnson.